Former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was named bench coach of the Toronto Blue Jays today, though he has permission to interview for a bigger opening - manager of the New York Mets.
Wakamatsu was hired by new manager John Farrell, something of a surprise in that most pundits had Wak heading for Baltimore for a reunion with Buck Showalter.
Wak's name has come up in a number of cities this off-season, and the Cubs, Brewers and Blue Jays had all been rumored managerial possibilities. Now, he's on general manager Sandy Alderson's rather long list of candidates in New York. A long-shot to land that job, Wakamatsu accepted the Blue Jays bench coaching spot, though Toronto is aware of his pending Mets interview.
Wakamatsu led the Mariners to a surprising 85-win season in 2009, but was fired last August with the team in disarray. Around baseball, few thought the issue was managing. That's one of the reasons he'll be interviewing with the Mets on Wednesday.