The Padres hired Mike Shildt on Tuesday to become the 23rd manager in franchise history, finalizing a two-year deal with the 55-year-old, who spent the last two seasons as the club’s senior advisor.
Shildt, who previously managed the Cardinals for four seasons, led St. Louis to three playoff appearances while winning the 2019 NL Manager of the Year award.
“Mike is a proven winner as a manager at the Major League level, and he brings more than two decades of professional baseball experience to the role,” said Padres general manager AJ Preller. “During his time here, Mike has demonstrated a strong baseball intellect, a passion for teaching the game and has built relationships with minor and major league players and staff. We believe Mike is the right person to lead the Padres forward in our continued pursuit of a World Series championship.
Shildt’s arrival as Padres skipper marks his second stint as a big league manager, although he has spent the last two decades coaching at various levels.
Shildt’s hiring comes less than a month after former San Diego manager Bob Melvin accepted the manager’s job in San Francisco after the Padres allowed him to interview with the Giants.
That began a three-week process in which the Padres interviewed several candidates, including offensive coordinator/hitting coach Ryan Flaherty, Angels on-field coach Benji Gil and former Angels manager Phil Nevin.
Shildt is tasked with managing a Padres team looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2023 season. Despite World Series ambitions, San Diego finished 82-80 and missed the playoffs.
The offseason will undoubtedly bring some changes. But most of the Padres’ core should remain intact, particularly on offense. Shildt, having spent the last two seasons with the club, already knows this core.
“We’re definitely thinking about it,” Preller said last week. “… People who know our players, know our situation, know our organization, that’s definitely an advantage.”
It remains unclear which coaches will return to Shildt’s staff, although Preller recently confirmed that Ruben Niebla, under contract through the 2024 season, would return as pitching coach.