There already have been several names tossed around as potential candidates for the Seattle Mariners managerial job. Since Terry Francona isn’t available, the club will have to settle for someone that isn’t the best manager in the game, but here is what I am hearing on the matter.
Despite all the Lou Piniella garbage that was reported Friday, he’s not going to be the new skipper, and the team apparently called to let him know he is next year’s Mariners Hall of Fame inductee, and the manager’s job came up in conversation. Whether you buy what the team is trying to sell on the topic — I don’t, they lie or bend the truth on almost everything else, it seems — is irrelevant.
The club has said they want a teacher and a leader, and that the next manager will be hired by GM Jack Zduriencik, with input from the front office and those in upper management such as Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong. Input yes, but it will be Zduriencik’s decision.
Among those I believe will considered: (Not guaranteeing they all get an interview)
- Pete Mackanin — Third base coach, Philadelphia Phillies
- Dave Martinez — Bench coach, Tampa Bay Rays
- Ron Wotus — Bench coach, San Francisco Giants
- Chip Hale — Bench coach, Oakland Athletics
- Billy Hatcher — First base coach, Cincinnati Reds
- Bryan Price — Pitching coach, Cincinnati Reds
- Brad Mills — Bench coach, Cleveland Indians
- Rick Renteria — Bench coach, San Diego Padres
- A.J. Hinch — V.P. of Pro Scouting, San Diego Padres
There are likely be more names in the mix to some extent, but if I had to guess I’d say the next M’s skipper is listed above. My favorites, based on what others in the game tell me, are, in order: Mills, Wotus, Hale.
Dusty Baker may get a courtesy interview if he wants it, but there are zero scenarios where he makes any sense whatsoever, and nobody I talk to in baseball believe 1) that there is any chance he’s the hire for the Mariners, or 2) that he has any business at the helm of a young team.
Zduriencik said last week that it may be more than a week before the club starts the interviewing process, which suggests they needed time to seek out permission to speak to at least one or two that were working into the postseason, but I do not expect the decision to be delayed much after the World Series, if it takes that long.