Welke leaves Rangers for Padres

The Texas Rangers have lost another key piece of their front office in the wake of the A.J. Preller hiring as the general manager in San Diego.

Don Welke, who has been a key advisor for general manager Jon Daniels, has left the organization to join Preller with the Padres.

Welke, who has been in baseball for 49 years, has been named the vice president of scouting operations. The Rangers allowed Welke to leave for San Diego even though the club could have blocked the move.

"On behalf of the Rangers, I want to congratulate Don Welke and wish him well in his new role with the Padres," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said in a statement. "He has had a profound impact on our organization, both on and off the field. His eye for talent, genuine care for people, and unique bonds with all of us will be missed."

Welke had been with the Rangers since 2006 and helped with everything from personnel evaluation to scouting. He helped the club trade for Cliff Lee, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre and also played a hand in the signings of Jurickson Profar, Robbie Ross and Jorge Alfaro.

He began his career in 1965 with Cincinnati and has also worked for Kansas City, Toronto, Baltimore, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia.

"On a personal note, I want to thank Coach (Welke) for his work ethic, character, and trust," Daniels said. "He is both a mentor and a friend, and we will miss his quirks on a day to day basis.  The Padres are lucky to have him.  Take care of him for us."