10:16PM: The Padres do intend to speak with Shildt “are still investigating exactly why he was let go in St. Louis,” Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Acee also adds that San Diego isn’t planning to interview Braves third base coach Ron Washington, who was rumored to be on the Padres’ radar last week.
9:59PM: Mike Shildt might not be out of a job for long, as The Athletic’s Dennis Lin and Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link) report that the Padres are looking to interview Shildt for their managerial vacancy. After being fired by the Cardinals just three days ago, Shildt enters a market thin on dugout openings, as the Mets and Padres are currently the only other big league clubs looking for a new manager.
However, Shildt does fit the mold of what the Padres have reportedly been focusing on, as all of the names linked to the search thus far have been experienced Major League managers. While team chairman Peter Seidler said the Padres wouldn’t necessarily only be looking at former managers, this seems to be the initial direction in what might still be the early days of their search.
Keeping an open mind about candidates is always a good idea since a team never knows what new candidates might suddenly emerge…including Shildt, who seemed as safe as any manager in baseball after leading the Cardinals to a 90-win season. Since taking over from Mike Matheny in July 2018, Shildt posted a 252-199 record in his tenure in St. Louis, taking the Cards to the postseason in each of the last three years. After reaching the NLCS in 2019, the Cardinals haven’t made it beyond the initial playoff round, falling to the Dodgers in the wild card game and losing to (ironically) the Padres in the expanded 2020 postseason’s 2020 wild card series.
Details still aren’t exactly clear on the “philosophical differences” (in the words of St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak) that led to Shildt’s dismissal, though it isn’t surprising that the Padres would want to speak with a manager with Shildt’s recent track record. Since all of Shildt’s experience in pro baseball has come with the Cardinals, he doesn’t have any past connection with Padres president of baseball ops A.J. Preller, thought that also might not be a prerequisite for any hiring. Considering how Preller’s close friendship with former manager Jayce Tingler may have played a role in San Diego’s reported clubhouse tension over the season’s final weeks, it could benefit the Padres to hire a manager perceived by the players as having some distance from the front office.