Five GM candidates for San Diego

The San Diego Padres have begun the process of replacing general manager Josh Byrnes, who was fired on Sunday, with insiders saying that in all likelihood the hiring will come outside of the organization.

This despite the fact the Padres have several in-house candidates led by assistant GMs A.J. Hinch, Chad MacDonald, and Fred Uhlman Jr., as well as senior VP of baseball operations Omar Minaya and VP of player development Randy Smith, both of whom are former GMs. However, the announcement that Hinch, Uhlman and Minaya would share the GM duties in the interim is a sign that they don’t have an in-house candidate they want to hand the reins to.

In fact, it is believed that the Padres' ownership group would prefer to hire a first-time GM with vision, ideally an up-and-coming exec from a successful organization. Here are five names that fit that mold.

1. Thad Levine, assistant GM, Texas Rangers

Levine is widely considered a GM-in-waiting within the industry, someone who has all the tools needed to be a great GM.