Padres hire Mike Shildt: Ex-Cardinals manager takes over in San Diego after Bob Melvin departs

The San Diego Padres are hiring Mike Shildt as their new manager, CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirmed Tuesday. Shildt was hired by the Padres in January of 2022 and has served as their senior advisor to player development since, though he also served as the interim third-base coach for a stretch in 2022 while Matt Williams was recovering from hip surgery. 

After a disappointing 82-80 record, one year after getting to the NLCS, the Padres and manager Bob Melvin parted ways as he took the manager job with the San Francisco Giants. This left a vacancy in San Diego that has now been filled by Shildt. 

All 30 manager jobs are now occupied, as the Padres’ job was the last one open this offseason. 

“Mike is a proven winner as a manager at the Major League level, and he brings over two decades of experience in professional baseball to the position,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. In his time here, Mike has displayed a strong baseball intellect, a passion for teaching the game, and has established relationships with players and staff at both the minor and Major League levels. We believe that Mike is the right person to lead the Padres forward in our continued pursuit of a World Series championship.”

Shildt, 55, took over as Cardinals manager for Mike Matheny in the 2018 season and went 41-28 the rest of the way, earning the full-time job before the end of that season. The Cardinals then won 91 games and the NL Central in 2019, making the NLCS. In 2021, only Shildt’s second full season as manager, the Cardinals won 90 games and lost the NL Wild Card Game to the 106-win Dodgers. 

Still, Shildt was fired a few weeks later due to what the Cardinals called “philosophical differences.” 

Shildt has a career 252-199 record as manager, an average of roughly 91 wins per every 162 games. 

There’s a good opportunity for Shildt to have a great season with the Padres, too, depending upon how the offseason goes, of course. The Padres were a major disappointment in 2023, sure, but they still only missed the playoffs by two games and were a dreadful 9-23 in one-run games. They were 2-12 in extra innings. 

The front office needs to address things in the offseason like Cy Young winner Blake Snell and ace reliever Josh Hader hitting free agency in addition to the lingering rumor that Juan Soto — who is one year away from free agency — could be traded, but there’s still a lot of talent with this group. 

Basically, Shildt is in a great position to add to his solid resume as a manager.

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