Wakamatsu, Wathan interview for managerial job

Rangers have interviewed total of eight candidates

October 16th, 2018

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added two more candidates to their managerial search by interviewing interim manager Don Wakamatsu and Phillies third-base coach Dusty Wathan.

The Rangers have now interviewed eight candidates in their search for a replacement for Jeff Banister. The Rangers have not yet indicated what the next step will be -- they could continue to interview additional candidates, they could bring back finalists for a second round or they could make a final decision.

The other candidates to interview so far are: Rangers farm director Jayce Tingler, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Giants vice president of player development David Bell and Rays field coordinator Rocco Baldelli.

The Rangers are in competition with the Reds, Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels and Twins to fill their managerial opening, and all of their outside candidates have been interviewing with other teams as well.

Wakamatsu follows Girardi as only the second known candidate who has previous experience as a Major League manager. Wakamatsu was hired to manage the Mariners in 2009, taking over a team that went 61-101 the previous season.

The Mariners went 85-77 under Wakamatsu and he finished fourth in voting for the American League Manager of the Year award. But the Mariners were 42-70 the following season when Wakamatsu was dismissed on Aug. 9. He spent the next two seasons coaching with the Blue Jays, and then a year as a scout for the Yankees, before becoming the bench coach for the Royals.

The Royals ended up going to the World Series in 2014 and winning it all in 2015. He joined Banister's staff as bench coach prior to this season and served as interim manager for the final 10 games.

Wakamatsu was born in Oregon and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a catcher at Arizona State and a career Minor League player with just 18 games for the White Sox in 1991. He began his post-playing career as a Minor League manager in the D-backs and Angels' systems and was the Rangers bench coach under Buck Showalter in 2003-06. He was the third-base coach for the Rangers in 2007 and bench coach for the Athletics in 2008, before becoming the first Japanese-American manager in Major League history.

Wathan is the son of former Major League catcher and manager, John Wathan. He spent this past season as the Phillies' bench coach. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as a manager in the Phillies' system and was the Double-A Eastern League Manager of the Year in 2015-16. His overall winning percentage as a Minor League manager sits at .531.

Like Wakamatsu, he was a career Minor Leaguer player with just three games played for the Royals in 2002. His brother, Derek, was also a career Minor League player.