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Report reveals 2 frontrunners for Padres manager job

A San Diego Padres hat resting on a glove

Aug 8, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A view of an official San Diego Padres New Era on field hat against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres already appear to have a contingency plan in motion.

San Diego’s managerial job officially opened up on Tuesday after Bob Melvin, their skipper for the last two seasons, agreed to become the new manager of an NL rival. Melvin had received permission from the Padres to interview for the new job and ended up taking it just days later.

Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported later in the day on Tuesday that two frontrunners have already emerged for the now-vacant San Diego manager position. Lin says that the current expectation within the team is that either Mike Shildt or Ryan Flaherty will get the job, even if outside candidates are interviewed.

Shildt, 55, is the Padres’ Senior Adviser to Player Development & Major Leagues. He previously served as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 2018-21, going 252-199 (.559) with one division title before getting fired amid back-to-back playoff exits in the NL Wild Card round. Flaherty, 37, was a bench coach for the Padres this season after being hired by the team as an advanced scout and development coach before the 2020 campaign. While Flaherty is still a relative newbie, he played eight seasons in Major League Baseball as an infielder from 2012-19.

San Diego seemed very willing to let the three-time Manager of the Year Melvin walk, perhaps in part due to rumored tensions with GM AJ Preller. But it may have also been because they already had a potential successor or two in mind.

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