October 26th, 2013

McClendon will interview for Mariners job next week

Lloyd McClendon has been in line for the Tigers managerial job the past several years. He is now a candidate for the Seattle Mariners managerial opening for the second time in three years.

McClendon will interview for the M’s job next week. He confirmed the reports, including from MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi, via text message.

McClendon reportedly finished runner-up to Wedge for the Seattle job after the 2010 season. Wedge went 213-273 in three seasons with the M’s before parting ways about a month ago. For the M’s to want to interview McClendon again is a pretty good sign of how he interviewed last time.

Last time around, McClendon was one of at least five candidates with prior experience managing in the big leagues to interview for the job. So far this time around, the M’s have taken the opposite approach, interviewing two bench coaches — Oakland’s Chip Hale and San Diego’s Rick Renteria — with no prior Major League managing experience. Whether that works to McClendon’s advantage remains to be seen.

What happens from here, of course, has a lot to do with what happens in Detroit, where McClendon is one of two candidates to interview for the Tigers job. Dave Dombrowski has wasted little time talking with candidates, which should bode well for him reaching a relatively quick conclusion on his choice to succeed Jim Leyland. If, however, the M’s wrap up their search and offer McClendon their job while the Tigers are still interviewing, he’d have a decision to make.

The Tigers’ winning ways are a huge factor in Detroit’s favor. So is the fact that Dombrowski has job security, while Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik is reportedly heading into the final year of his contract.

This might not be the only time the Tigers and Mariners talk to the same candidate. MLB.com’s Mariners beat writer, Greg Johns, reported earlier this week that the M’s are believed to have interest in Brad Ausmus, another potential first-time manager who’s drawing a lot of interest this fall.

Confirmed: Tigers interview Tim Wallach

All indications at this point are that Lloyd McClendon is the only in-house candidate for the Tigers managerial post (Gene Lamont and Tom Brookens haven’t been contacted about the job). So if the Tigers are talking with more managerial candidates, they’re most likely coming from outside the organization. There’s no shortage of those, but who first?

Tim Wallach, perhaps?

That was followed by this report.

Jonah Keri is a baseball analyst for ESPN and Grantland who has written extensively about the Montreal Expos. Bill Shaikin covers the Dodgers for the Los Angeles Times.

The reports were confirmed by Wallach, who returned home to California Friday evening after interviewing for the job Friday afternoon.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports mentioned Wallach a couple days ago as a potential option, in part based on his history with Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski. Wallach spent more than a decade as the third baseman in Montreal, including the years when Dombrowski was the Expos general manager.

More important, Wallach was a minor-league manager (Triple-A Albuquerque 2009-2010) and then a third-base coach for Don Mattingly with the Dodgers for the last three seasons. There have been reports that Wallach was in line to become the Dodgers’ interim manager if Mattingly was fired when rumors were flying early in the season.