According to Kevin Acee, Dennis Lin and others, the San Diego Padres next manager has been decided. It’s Mike Shildt.
The Padres have chosen a manager.— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) November 21, 2023
The 55-year-old led the St. Louis Cardinals to three straight postseason appearances in each of his three full seasons as their manager, getting as far as the NLCS in 2019.
Shildt has been in the Padres organization for years now and is listed on the Padres website as a Player Development Consultant. He was key in helping Fernando Tatis Jr. transition from the infield to the outfield and was more involved with the big league club in 2023.
Phil Nevin, Benji Gil and Ryan Flaherty seemed to be the other candidates for the job but Shildt was probably the safest pick for Preller. He has prior managing success, has been in the organization and reportedly shares the same vision as Preller.
Nevin hadn’t been in the organization and didn’t make the postseason with the Los Angeles Angels. Gil has never managed at the big league level before. And Flaherty has only managed on an interim basis with the Padres.
“When we went through this process, we had some really good candidates that were part of the organization, some other candidates from the outside,” Padres President of Baseball Operations and General Manager A.J. Preller said Tuesday. “But Mike, he is familiar with our players, our staff, the minor leagues. We feel really confident this is a team that can win games and play in the playoffs next year. So I think not having to get Mike up to speed on kind of where we’re at and what this group is capable of— he knows it, he has seen it firsthand the last couple of years. That was definitely a factor for us.”
Update: Adrian Gonzalez also interviewed for the gig, according to Acee. Wow would that have made the fan base go nuts or what? Darnay Tripp got Preller to answer a question regarding him talking with A-Gon during this process:
“Obviously very familiar with the Padres, San Diego. He’s got history with the organization clearly. He’s got really good takes from a baseball standpoint,” Preller said. “Probably a good situation for him from a learning standpoint. I think it was his first opportunity to talk like that. I think we all enjoyed the opportunity to sit down with Adrian and talk to him.”
Give your thoughts in the comments! Do you like this hire? Here is a link to some highlights from Shildt’s presser at Petco Park.