Mariners to interview Van Burkleo

Mariners to interview Van Burkleo

OAKLAND -- Three days after MLB.com first reported that A's hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo would join new Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu's coaching staff, Oakland general manager Billy Beane late Monday night confirmed that Seattle has asked for permission to talk to Van Burkleo about its bench-coach opening.

Two Major League sources on Friday told MLB.com that Van Burkleo, who is under contract in Oakland for a third year as the club's hitting coach, will follow Wakamatsu to the Emerald City.

The sources assumed Van Burkleo would join the Mariners in the same capacity in which he served the A's, but in a text message Monday, Beane told MLB.com, "We granted permission [for Van Burkleo] to interview for the bench-coach job."

That's contrary to reports in the Tuesday edition of two Bay Area newspapers. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Mariners had not asked for permission to speak with Van Burkleo, and the Oakland Tribune reported that Seattle had asked to speak to Van Burkleo about joining the team as hitting coach, adding, "It's not known if permission was granted."

Van Burkleo, 45, was Wakamatsu's closest friend among Oakland's coaches last season, and the two men worked together as instructors in the Angels' Minor League system in 2001-02.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.