The Padres announced their player development staff today, with a notable new name joining the fold in former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. While reports last month indicated that Shildt was going to take a job in the Commissioner’s Office, Jeff Jones of The Belleville News-Democrat tweets that Shildt will actually be working in both positions, as the league gave Shildt permission to also consult with San Diego.
This isn’t the first link between Shildt and the Padres, as San Diego interviewed Shildt for their managerial vacancy back in October, in the aftermath of Shildt’s surprising firing from the Cards dugout. While the Padres ultimately opted for Bob Melvin as their new manager, clearly they liked what they heard from Shildt, enough to work this rather unique arrangement with the league office.
The 53-year-old Shildt will now be working for just the second MLB organization of his long career, as he had previously spent almost two full decades with the Cardinals. The Padres job represents something of a full-circle moment for Shildt, who began as a scout with both the league and with St. Louis, before moving on to became a minor league coach and then manager in the Cards farm system. Joining the big league coaching staff prior to the 2017 season, Shildt worked as a quality control coach, third base coach, and bench coach before being promoted to interim manager when Mike Matheny was fired in July 2018.
From there, the Cardinals basically just kept winning under Shildt, as the team reached the postseason every year from 2019-21 and played to a 252-199 record under their new skipper. However, it was far from smooth sailing within the organization, as some discord arose between Shildt and the front office when the Cardinals were struggling earlier in the season. While St. Louis ripped off a 17-game win streak in September to book a trip to the postseason, it wasn’t enough to save Shildt’s job, as president of baseball operations John Mozeliak cited “philosophical differences” as the somewhat vague reasoning for Shildt’s firing.
Now, Shildt will take on a wide range of new responsibilities, between his duties with both the league and the Padres. It may seem odd to speculate about what a next step might entail for someone who already has two jobs, but Shildt has seemingly positioned himself well for any number of different future roles, whether with MLB, the Padres, or another team interested in his services as either a manager, coach, or player development executive.