By Shannon Drayer
Within minutes of Eric Wedge announcing he would not return as manager of Mariners, Joey Cora’s name was thrown out by members of the national media as someone who was sure to be on the club’s short list of candidates to replace him.
According to a baseball source, Cora has indeed interviewed for the job and is in Seattle now, potentially for a second interview.
In addition to Cora I am hearing that the Mariners are also interested in former MLB catcher Brad Ausmus and that he may be headed to Seattle for a second interview as well.
Cora, 48, played for the Mariners from 1995 to 1997 and served as Ozzie Guillen’s bench coach with the White Sox from 2004 to 2011. While Guillen was no doubt the face and the mouth of that White Sox coaching staff, many credit Cora with being the tactician.
Before becoming a major-league coach, Cora managed in the Mets’ minor-league system. He has also managed in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Cora interviewed with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik for the club’s managerial position in 2008, when Seattle ultimately hired Don Wakamatsu.
Ausmus, 44, played in the majors for 18 years and has no professional coaching or managing experience. He is currently a special assistant to the general manager with the Padres. He has also interviewed with the Cubs and the Tigers.
In other Mariners news, despite the fact that all of Wedge’s coaches were under contract through 2014 and could be considered for positions on the 2014 staff, bench coach Robby Thompson has been told he will not be asked back and third-base coach Jeff Datz has been offered a scouting position. The Seattle Times was the first to report those moves.