Ryan Flaherty, Padres bench coach/offensive coordinator
Along with Mike Shildt, Padres bench coach Ryan Flaherty was one of the first to be interviewed for the Padres managerial position and is still rumored to be one of the front runners. Flaherty is a former player who went up and down between the majors and minors over an eight year career before he retired in 2019 and quickly found a job as a scout and development coach with the Padres later that year.
Flaherty, at 37, could join Oliver Marmol as the youngest managers in the league. He was promoted to bench coach in the winter of 2023 and subbed in as the Padres' acting manager for a short stint during the 2022 season when Bob Melvin was absent with COVID.
Flaherty would be a perhaps more reckless option than either of the other two candidates on this list; he doesn't have a full managerial season under his belt, let alone Shildt's proven track record of success over many seasons. Hiring Flaherty would be a leap, that could be more ungenerously defined as a risk, but maybe a fresh set of eyes to the Padres' entire approach is what they want going into 2024.