Padres’ Renteria is fifth and last finalist for M’s post

San Diego Padres v. Los Angeles DodgersWord leaked out one by one on the Mariners’ managerial search over the weekend, but I’ve just confirmed the fifth — and final — finalist in the search to replace Eric Wedge.

Padres bench coach Rick Renteria is the last of the five finalists, according to two baseball sources, joining the four names that I reported previously — Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, former Mariners second baseman and long-time White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, A’s bench coach Chip Hale and Tigers hitting coach and former Pirates skipper Lloyd McClendon.

Renteria is also one of the top candidates in the Cubs’ search, which is the only other remaining vacancy. But Renteria is in a unique position as he recently underwent hip surgery and is unable to fly, so he won’t be coming to Seattle like the other four finalists.

Jack Zduriencik interviewed Renteria at his home in California during the first round of interviews when he spoke with about a dozen preliminary candidates. It’s not certain whether the Mariners GM will return to California for a follow-up.

Zduriencik began the second round of interviews over the weekend, and appears to be closing in on a decision this week. The Mariners and Cubs are the two teams still in the hiring process after the Tigers on Sunday selected Brad 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. The Mariners could be headed down a similar path, as McClendon is the only finalist with previous big league managerial experience.

Renteria, 51, has been on the Padres’ staff for six years, including the past three as bench coach. He also managed Mexico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Renteria has worked in the Padres’ organization since 2003 and spent four seasons managing the club’s Class A team at Lake Elsinore and another year leading Triple-A Portland before moving up to San Diego in 2007 as first-base coach. He also managed four seasons in the Marlins’ organization at the Class A and Double-A levels and was the Midwest League Manager of the Year in 1999.

Renteria played parts of five seasons in the Majors as a utility infielder between 1986-94, including 43 games with the Mariners in 1987-88.

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