McClendon appears to be new Mariners skipper

McClendonLloydLloyd McClendon, who spent the past eight years as hitting coach of the Tigers, will be the next manager of the Mariners, according to several reports that broke Tuesday afternoon.

The Mariners have made no official announcement yet, but a club official didn’t deny a Tweet by the Puget Sound Business Journal that initially broke the story.

General manager Jack Zduriencik just concluded talks with five finalists to replace Eric Wedge, with McClendon among the group brought to Seattle for a second interview.

McClendon, 54, was the only candidate with previous Major League managing experience, having led the Pirates from 2001-05.

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 as 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.

The other Mariners finalists were A’s bench coach Chip Hale, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, former Mariners second baseman and long-time White Sox bench coach Joey Cora and Dodgers third base coach Ron Wallach.

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