AJ Preller driving Bob Melvin to Dodgers' rival is latest rivalry knife twist

107-win Giants team finishes disintegrating? Cool, here's a stud manager for free.
San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Of all the ways we tried to predict the rival Padres' meltdown could negatively affect the Dodgers, we never saw the Giants benefitting directly.

Unfortunately, months before any payroll could be shed and any All-Stars could be dispersed, the superstar manager who struggled to contain the Oops! All Superstars lineup has gotten a second chance -- and a directly harmful one to the Dodgers' chances of maintained dominance.

When Padres head honcho Peter Seidler announced a few weeks back that both manager Bob Melvin and GM AJ Preller would be returning, it didn't quite pass the smell test. Rumors abounded that the pair's relationship was unsalvageable. Now, all of a sudden, it wasn't just salvaged, but it could self-sustain for another year and into infinity? Please.

As it turns out, those among us who doubted the finality of Seidler's proclamation -- like FanSided's Robert Murray -- were correct to do so. On Sunday, the Padres gave Melvin permission to interview for the Giants' managerial vacancy. On Tuesday, the fait accompli was completed and the deed was done.

And now, Melvin, 62, from the Bay Area and dripping in baseball savvy, will be Farhan Zaidi's final hire in his last attempt to justify his position. And he seems likely to be a damned good one.

Dodgers rival Giants improve after Padres force Bob Melvin out

Some water pipe full of talent busted in the Padres' locker room under Melvin, but it seems -- per reports -- that the manic Preller is more to blame for the way he treats those beneath him, as well as the way he treats locker rooms like a shelf full of collectibles rather than a cohesive unit.

You want hope for Melvin failing with the Giants? Look no further than his past season in San Diego, where he was given all a manager could ever want and ended up losing every single extra-inning game he played, torpedoing his pythagorean record into a previously undiscovered sub-basement.

You want reasons to believe in Melvin, though? Look at his entire tenure with the A's. Now find the average of those two franchises' payrolls, and there's a pretty solid middle ground available, especially if the Giants "refuse to be outbid" on Yoshinobu Yamamoto and their other targets this offseason. Late-career Melvin can have a few superstars. As a treat.

If this home run swing doesn't work out, then the Giants' whole regime crumbles down. This would be their last gasp. But, again, it's not every day that an exceptional manager walks seamlessly from one division rival to another, and our wheezing laughter at the Kapler firing didn't last nearly long enough before the other shoe drop.

Look at the bright side, though. At least there's no way Juan Soto chooses to play under Melvin again.