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Padres trim manager list, move past 1st stage

Reports indicate GM Preller has interviewed Gardenhire and Sofield a second time

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' ever-evolving search for a new manager has reached the second round, general manager A.J. Preller said on Tuesday morning.

"I feel good about the number of guys we had in the initial stage, and now we'll be able to get that down to a smaller group," Preller said. "We're looking to push things forward."

Preller, who won't say who the team has interviewed to this point, said the team finished the last of the interviews on Monday.

"The last few days, we've talked to some guys we didn't have a chance to talk to the first few weeks. ... Guys who were involved in the postseason," Preller said.

"We're starting to figure it out. We're looking to figure out who fits what we're looking for."

That person was Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach, the last of the candidates to get a first interview with the team.

The Padres, who have officially been in search-mode since dismissing interim manager Pat Murphy one hour after the regular season ended on Oct. 4, have had their hands full with interviews the last three weeks.

To date, the team has interviewed ESPN analyst Alex Cora, D-backs Minor League manager and former Padres third baseman Phil Nevin, Pirates third-base coach Rick Sofield, Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais (who was named manager of the Mariners), D-backs third-base coach Andy Green, Padres hitting coach Mark Kotsay, former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon and former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

Reports have indicated that Gardenhire and Sofield have had second interviews.

And there might be more candidates, those as Preller said, were a part of teams who were recently involved in the postseason -- possibly the Cubs and Blue Jays.

"We feel good. We're whittling it down," Preller said. "I think the overall process has been good. I think we've had good conversations with the initial list of guys.

"We've had a wide-range group of candidates with different experiences. We've enjoyed the process of talking to those guys."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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