After FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday the Seattle Mariners spoke with Oakland Athletics bench coach Chip Hale, a new report surfaced this evening as the club continues their managerial search.
MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik met with San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria in Arizona Thursday afternoon.
Renteria is a name that has not been tossed around much when it comes to potential candidates for the M’s vacancy, but this should not come as a surprise. The team has made it clear they are going to take their time throughout this process and talk to numerous possible suitors. It would not be a shock if they speak to a couple dozen candidates before all is said and done.
Boston Red Sox right-handers Jake Peavy and Ryan Dempster have both expressed their support for Renteria in hopes he becomes a big league manager one day, and both marvel at his baseball IQ. Peavy spent time with him in San Diego, where Renteria has been since 2007, while Dempster pitched for Renteria when he was a manager in the minor leagues. He is rumored to be a very strong candidate, perhaps even the front-runner, for the Chicago Cubs vacancy, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
While Hale and Renteria have been the only two specific names to come out this week in regards to the Seattle’s managerial vacancy, it is assumed Zduriencik has spoken to additional candidates during his time this week in Arizona, or has more interviews planned — or both.
Other names that continue to be linked to the team include San Francisco Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Philadelphia Phillies third base coach Pete Mackanin and former Mariners second baseman and Chicago White Sox bench coach Joey Cora.
But, don’t be surprised if the next field manager at Safeco Field is not one of those aforementioned names. At this point, clear-cut favorites have not emerged and it seems this process will drag on past the conclusion of the World Series.
Current Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon is the first to interview for the Tigers vacancy, reports ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, but the Mariners could very well have some interest.
Seattle interviewed McClendon back in 2010 before hiring Eric Wedge and Zduriencik could consider him again, especially if they were impressed enough the first time around. McClendon has been with Detroit for the past eight seasons, and prior to that managed the Pirates for five years. He could be a nice fit with the M’s if they are looking for someone who has experience as a hitting coach and can help develop their young hitting core.
Two names that haven’t surfaced but are worth tracking are Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo and Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo. They are unavailable to interview until after the World Series concludes, and these two might be factoring into the front office’s decision to prolong this process. Lovullo has nearly a decade of minor league managerial experience before joining John Farrell’s staff in Toronto and now Boston. He’s been linked to the Cubs’ opening already.
Oquendo was strongly considered for the Cardinals managerial vacancy before Mike Matheny was handed the job, but he continues to be one of the most respected coaches in the game.
Another name floating about is Brad Ausmus. Currently an assistant in the Padres’ front office, the former catcher has expressed interest in managing, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him receive multiple interviews. All across the league, former catchers have turned into great managers, and this 18-year veteran could certainly fit the mold.
The M’s are taking their time, and for good reason. Seven managers have taken on the role, whether in a permanent or interim basis, since the departure of Lou Pinella, and that speaks to the state of dysfunction in the organization. This could be their chance to right the ship and find the manager that could be a mainstay for years to come. Of course, they’ll have to improve the on-field product, but that is another story for another day.