Mariners interview McClendon, Hale for second time

Mariners interview McClendon, Hale for second time

Mariners interview McClendon, Hale for second time

SEATTLE -- Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon was in Seattle on Sunday to interview a second time with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik for the team's vacant manager position, according to a source familiar with the Tigers' own managerial search.

In addition, CBSSports.com has reported that A's bench coach Chip Hale is being interviewed a second time. That would bring the number of known finalists for the job to three, with former Mariners second baseman Joey Cora having been confirmed by MLB.com.

Zduriencik began conducting second interviews this weekend as Seattle zeros in on a replacement for Eric Wedge, who stepped down at the end of September.

McClendon, 54, is the only candidate with previous Major League managing experience who has been publicly tied to the Mariners' opening, having led the Pirates from 2001-05.

Hale, 48, spent six seasons as a Minor League manager in the D-backs organization and earned Pioneer League and Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year Awards before joining Bob Melvin's staff as the third-base coach and infield coach in Arizona from 2007-09. He then worked as the Mets' third-base coach in 2010-11 before rejoining Melvin's staff in Oakland the past two years as his bench coach.

Cora, 48, played for the Mariners from 1995-98 during an 11-year Major League career. He was on Ozzie Guillen's staff with the White Sox and Marlins from 2004-12, the last eight years as bench coach.

McClendon had a 336-446 record when Pittsburgh was in the middle of a 20-year run of losing seasons, then was immediately hired by Jim Leyland in Detroit and was regarded as a big part of the Tigers' success; they reached the American League Championship Series four times and the World Series twice during his eight years.

McClendon interviewed with the Mariners in 2010, when they hired Wedge, and was under consideration to replace Leyland this past week by the Tigers, who instead named former catcher Brad Ausmus as their new skipper on Sunday.

Ausmus' hiring leaves the Cubs and Mariners as the only clubs with managerial openings, after the Reds promoted pitching coach Bryan Price and the Nationals brought in D-backs third-base coach Matt Williams. None of those hires has any Major League managing experience.

Zduriencik initially interviewed about a dozen candidates over the past two weeks. In addition to McClendon, Hale, Cora and Ausmus, the known candidates in the first round were Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach, and former Mariners catcher and current broadcaster Dave Valle.

McClendon, a native of Indiana, hit .244 over an eight-year (1987-1994) Major League career as an outfielder and first baseman with the Reds, Cubs and Pirates. He was drafted by the Mets as a catcher out of Valparaiso University in the eighth round in 1980. After retiring as a player, he was hired as hitting instructor by the Pirates and filled that job until becoming Pittsburgh's manager in 2001.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.