Padres have interviewed Rojas, Shildt; close to hiring pitching coach – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Padres have completed two managerial interviews and are believed to have agreed to terms with a pitching coach.

The team interviewed former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt on Sunday after also interviewing former Mets manager Luis Rojas. The Shildt interview was previously known, but Rojas interviewing had not been.

The Mets declined the option on Rojas’ contract after the team fell from atop the NL East in early August and finished 77-85 last season. Rojas, 40, was hired in 2020.

The Cardinals fired Shildt following the Cardinals’ run to the NL wild card game. The team made the playoffs in all three of his seasons as manager.

According to multiple sources, the Padres have also discussed their pitching coach job with Ruben Niebla, who has spent the past 21 seasons in the Cleveland organization. The Calexico High graduate helped develop that team’s seemingly endless line of starting pitchers and spent the past two seasons as the Indians’ assistant pitching coach on the major league staff. Those sources said Niebla and the Padres have agreed to a deal in principle.

The team is also expected to bring back bullpen coach Ben Fritz, who served as interim pitching coach after Larry Rothschild was fired in August.

The Padres are not commenting on their search for a manager and coaches, but sources familiar with some of their internal discussions and talks they have had with candidates have provided some information about the searches.

Jayce Tingler was fired after two seasons and the entire coaching staff was told it could seek other employment.

Staff writer Jeff Sanders contributed to this report.