Dodgers’ Wallach is fourth finalist for M’s job
Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach emerged as a fourth finalist on Monday for the Mariners managerial job as general manager Jack Zduriencik conducts a second series of interviews with the leading candidates to replace Eric Wedge, according to a baseball source.
Wallach also interviewed for the Tigers’ job, which went to Brad Ausmus on Sunday.
Zduriencik has brought former Mariners second baseman Joey Cora, A’s bench coach Chip Hale, Tigers hitting coach and former Pirates skipper Lloyd McClendon and now Wallach to Seattle after meeting with about a dozen preliminary candidates in Phoenix over the previous two weeks.
It’s believed there could be one more finalist not yet disclosed.
Zduriencik began the second interviews over the weekend and appears to be closing in on a decision this week. The Mariners and Cubs are the two remaining teams still in the hiring process after the Tigers selected Ausmus, a former catcher who had been working as a special assistant with the Padres the past three years.
The Reds had previously promoted pitching coach Bryan Price, while the Nationals chose D-backs third base coach Matt Williams. Ausmus, Price and Williams are all first-time Major League managers and the Mariners could be headed down a similar path as McClendon is the only known finalist with previous big-league managerial experience.
Wallach, 56, was a five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner as a third baseman for the Montreal Expos during a 17-year playing career from 1980-96 that concluded with stints with the Dodgers and Angels.
He has been the Dodgers’ third-base coach the past three seasons after managing the club’s Triple-A team in Albuquerque to a 152-135 record in 2009-10. Wallach was the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year in ’09, when he also was named Baseball America’s “Best Manager Prospect.”
He also served as the Dodgers’ hitting coach from 2004-05, and previously coached and managed at the Class A level with two different Dodgers clubs, as well as spending a year coaching at his alma mater, Cal State Fullerton in ’00.
Wallach was a career .257 hitter in the Major Leagues and racked up 2,085 hits, 260 home runs and 1,125 RBIs. He led the Majors in doubles in 1987 with 42 and won two Silver Slugger Awards before retiring in 1996.
Hale is believed to be holding his second interview on Monday, while Cora and McClendon have already been in Seattle to meet with Zduriencik over the weekend.