Former big-league catcher Scott Servais has emerged as the leading candidate to become the Mariners’ next manager, according to multiple reports.
There has been no confirmation from the Mariners, but such a move would reunite Servais, 48, with general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Servais currently works for the Los Angeles Angels as assistant general manager for scouting and player development. It was Dipoto, while serving as the Angels’ general manager, who hired Servais as an assistant in 2011.
Fox Sports reported Servais as a “strong front-runner” for the Mariners’ managerial position. Shortly thereafter, MLB.com reported it was a “strong chance” that Servais would join the Mariners, “probably” as manager.
When Dipoto resigned in July from the Angels, Servais interviewed for the job, which eventually went to New York Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler.
Many industry insiders expected Servais to follow Dipoto to the Mariners in a front-office capacity, perhaps as the director of the organization’s farm system.
But Dipoto filled that vacancy earlier this week by hiring Andy McKay, who spent the last three years at Colorado as that organization’s mental-skills coach.
Servais recently indicated a preference to shift from front-office duties to managing and was one of five identified candidates under consideration by Dipoto to replace Lloyd McClendon, who was fired on Oct. 9.
Former Texas interim manager Tim Bogar, another former Dipoto assistant still working for the Angels, had generally been viewed as the favorite.
The other known candidates are Phil Nevin, Charlie Montoyo and Jason Varitek.
Nevin spent the last two years as the manager of Triple-A Reno in the Arizona system. Montoyo served last season at Tampa Bay’s third-base coach after eight years as the manager at Triple-A Durham.
Varitek works as a special assistant to the Boston general manager.
Servais played 11 years in the big leagues from 1991-2001 with Houston, the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco and Colorado.
Once he retired, Servais worked in 2003-04 as the Cubs’ roving minor-league catching instructor before switching to Colorado in 2005 as a professional scout.
Texas hired Servias in 2006 as its senior director of player development, and he remained in that role until he joined the Angels less than a week after Dipoto became general manager.