Mets expand search for skipper outside club
Hired as Jays' bench coach, Wakamatsu remains a candidate
NEW YORK -- After logging meetings last week with five internal candidates, the Mets are set to begin interviewing others from outside the organization.
Former big league managers Clint Hurdle and Don Wakamatsu are scheduled to meet with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on Wednesday, one day after Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale will interview at Citi Field.
Alderson had what he called "good meetings in California" over the weekend with internal candidates Wally Backman, Chip Hale and Terry Collins. The new GM previously interviewed two other internal candidates, Dave Jauss and Bob Melvin.
Hurdle, 53, interviewed with the Pirates last week and is widely considered the front-runner for their managerial vacancy. But Hurdle, currently the Rangers' hitting coach, may prefer a position with the Mets, his former employer both as a player and a Minor League manager. Hurdle's eight years of Major League managerial experience includes a 524-625 record and a trip to the World Series with the Rockies in 2007.
Wakamatsu, 47, was dismissed as Mariners manager in August, a 2 1/2-year stint that saw the M's go 127-147 and finish a disappointing fourth in the American League West last season. If Wakamatsu is not selected, he has a fallback option: Earlier Monday, the Jays named him new manager John Farrell's bench coach -- an announcement that would not preclude Wakamatsu from accepting a managerial position with the Mets.
DeMarlo Hale, 49, spent last season as manager Terry Francona's bench coach in Boston after four seasons as the third-base coach. He previously spent nine seasons managing various Minor League clubs for the Red Sox and Rangers.
For the Mets, the switch to external candidates does not necessarily mean Alderson is done interviewing his team's own personnel. Other potential internal candidates for the vacancy include Triple-A manager Ken Oberkfell and Double-A manager Tim Teufel.