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10/27/06 3:11 PM ET

Bochy moves to manage Giants

Skipper led Padres to four division crowns in 12 years

After 12 seasons as manager of the San Diego Padres, Bruce Bochy has decided to move north to manage the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants announced Friday that they have reached an agreement with Bochy on a three-year contract, reported to be worth an estimated $2 million annually.

After directing the Padres to back-to-back National League West titles, the 51-year-old Bochy had one year remaining on his contract at about $1.9 million. But the Padres granted the Giants permission to speak with the Giants. On Thursday in San Francisco, Bochy met with Giants general manager Brian Sabean and other Giants executives and came to the agreement to manage the Padres' NL West rivals.

Teams are not ordinarily allowed to make such announcements during the World Series, but special circumstances attend to a Bochy hiring since he agreed to be a last-minute replacement for Boston's Terry Francona as manager of a Major League team that will tour Japan in early November.

Bochy and the team are scheduled to depart for Japan on Monday.

The Giants had been interested in Lou Piniella before he accepted the Chicago Cub's managerial position and had interviewed three other candidates: New York Mets coach Manny Acta, Angels pitching coach Bud Black and Giants bench coach Ron Wotus.

The Giants have had only three managers since 1993. Dusty Baker managed the club from '93 until 2002 -- taking the Giants to the World Series in his final season -- and Felipe Alou spent the past four seasons leading the club.

Now the Padres have a manager search on their hands.

"We certainly have to do our due diligence to come up with a list of candidates ourselves, a group of people we would probably interview if Bruce ends up leaving," Padres general manager Kevin Towers told The Associated Press Thursday in a phone interview.

Bochy has been a member of the Padres' organization in various capacities for 24 years. He caught for the club before becoming a coach, and he was named manager in 1995. The following season, Towers was named general manager, and the two have been close ever since.

"We've had a great run together here," Towers told the San Diego Union-Tribune Thursday night. "It's been a tremendous run. Bochy is a great friend and was a great working partner. We made a lot of great memories that I'll cherish.

"He'll be wearing black and orange so now we're competitors."

A name that has surfaced as a possible candidate to replace Bochy is Oakland A's coach Ron Washington. Black, who has San Diego roots, is another possibility. Baker, given his experience and his California background, would appear to be a natural candidate if the Padres are seeking someone with a history of success, respect among players and a proven track record.

The Giants are expected to undergo major change in the offseason as they attempt to get younger. They have 11 free agents, and the status of Barry Bonds is unclear. One of the club's major assets is an impressive collection of young pitchers.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.