The Padres on Tuesday hired Mike Shields to become the 23rd manager in franchise history, ending a two-year contract with the 55-year-old, who spent the past two seasons as a senior adviser to the club.
They will introduce Schiltz at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Petco Park.
In his first major league managerial stint, Shields led the Cardinals from 2018-21 after spending more than a decade as a coach in the St. Louis system. He won the 2019 NL Manager of the Year Award and reached the finals in each of his three full seasons, receiving Manager of the Year votes in all four seasons, including his interim campaign.
“Mike is a proven winner as a manager at the major league level, and he brings more than two decades of experience in professional baseball to the position,” Padres general manager AJ Preller said in a statement. “During this time, Mike has demonstrated a strong knowledge of baseball, a passion for teaching the game, and has built relationships with players and staff at both the minor and major league levels. We believe Mike is the right person to lead the Padres forward in their quest for another World Series championship.”
Schilt’s hiring comes less than a month after former San Diego manager Bob Melvin accepted the managerial job in San Francisco, allowing the Padres to interview with the Giants.
That four-week process began with interviews with several candidates, including Padres offensive coordinator/bench coach Ryan Flaherty, Angels infield coach Benji Gill and former Angels manager Phil Neve. Shildt and Flaherty were the favorites for the job, and it is unclear whether Flaherty will remain with the organization on Shildt’s staff.
Shields has been tasked with managing a Padres team looking to rebound after a disappointing 2023 season. Despite World Series aspirations, San Diego finished 82-80 and missed the postseason.
The final season will undoubtedly bring some change. But most of the Padres’ core is expected to remain intact, especially on offense. Schilt has spent the past two seasons with the club and already knows that core.
That seems to appeal to Preller in the hiring process. Schilt will be the first of five full-time managers for the Pretzels who have previously worked together at the big league level.
“We’re definitely thinking about that,” Preller said last week. “… People who know our players, who know our situation, who know our organization — that’s an advantage, for sure.”
The hiring process was halted last week as the organization mourned the death of its chairman, Peter Sadler, who passed away last Tuesday due to unknown causes. Owner Eric Kuchenda was named chairman and interim controller on Friday.
It’s unclear which coaches will return to the Schillt staff, although the Prellers have confirmed that Ruben Niebla, who is under contract through the 2024 season, will soon return to coaching.