Ken Oberkfell will interview for the New York Mets managerial vacancy on Thursday or Friday when general manager Sandy Alderson visits the Dominican Republic, Alderson said Tuesday.
Oberkfell, 54, has managed the Mets' Triple-A affiliate for the past six seasons, through stops in Norfolk, New Orleans and Buffalo. The only interruption came during the second half of the 2008 season, when Oberkfell was promoted to first base coach on the major league level after the firing of Willie Randolph and coaches.
The interview will take place in the Dominican Republic because Oberkfell is managing Escogido. He led that Dominican Winter League squad to the Caribbean Series title last season.
Alderson, along with deputies J.P. Ricciardi, John Ricco and Wayne Krivsky, began interviewing external candidates for manager Tuesday morning when Boston Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale visited Citi Field. Newly hired executive Paul DePodesta is due to join the screening committee Wednesday when former Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle and former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu are scheduled to interview.
Alderson said there may be one or two candidates added, but the field is largely complete. The GM already has interviewed five internal candidates: scout Bob Melvin, third base coach Chip Hale, bench coach Dave Jauss, minor league field coordinator Terry Collins and Class A Brooklyn manager Wally Backman.
"There may be one or two others that we invite in, so that the roster is still open at this point," Alderson said. "But I, myself, have been very pleased with the conversations we've had so far. I think we've got some excellent candidates."
Alderson hopes to have a manager in place by the winter meetings at the latest. They will be held Dec. 6-9 at Disney's Dolphin and Swan in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
"It would probably be helpful for us to have a manager by the end of the month," he said. "Another sort of logical deadline is Thanksgiving. I'm not sure we're going to make that."