A’s bench coach Chip Hale sat down with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and Seattle scouting director Tom McNamara for about three hours midday Wednesday to talk about Hale’s suitability to become the Mariners’ next manager.
Hale, who has been through the process in Seattle before when the club was looking for a skipper back in 2008, said afterward he thought the interview went “very well;S we talked a lot of baseball,’’ but this is just the first step for Seattle, which is expected to talk to other potential managers in the coming days.
Still, it’s likely a good sign for Hale’s chances that he was interviewed so early in the process.
“Jack and Tom were both in the room when we did this five years ago,’’ Hale said. “They both know the game. We talked for a long time, and it was a good discussion.’’
A’s manager Bob Melvin, who has had Hale on his staff both in Arizona and Oakland, knows he might lose his bench coach with five baseball teams looking for managers this winter. Melvin is OK with that.
“He’s ready,’’ the A’s skipper said. “He just needs the chance.’’
In addition to the Mariners, the Tigers, the Nationals, the Cubs and the Reds are also looking for a new manager.
Baseball sources said Melvin gave the Mariners a glowing recommendation on Hale in the lead up to the interview.
Hale was the third base coach and infield coach for the Mets in 2010-11 before joining Melvin in Oakland. He worked as the third base coach and infield coach with the Diamondbacks in 2007-09, also under Melvin.
Before that he’d managed in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system for six seasons, winning titles in 2006 with Pacific Coast League Tucson (Triple-A) and 2002 with Texas League El Paso (Double-A). He was the Pioneer League (Class A) Manager of the Year in 2001 with Missoula.