- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson conducted managerial interviews with Clint Hurdle and Don Wakamatsu on Wednesday at Citi Field.
Alderson now plans to take his search for Jerry Manuel's successor to the Dominican Republic, where he will interview Triple-A Buffalo manager Ken Oberkfell. Oberkfell, who has managed the Mets' top minor league affiliate for the past six seasons, is currently managing defending Caribbean Series champion Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.
Alderson's itinerary then will take him to Puerto Rico. He is scheduled to attend Carlos Beltran's fundraiser in San Juan for a baseball academy for high school students that the Mets center fielder has spearheaded. The academy is due to open in August 2011.
Hurdle, 53, served as Texas Rangers hitting coach this past season. He previously spent 15 seasons with the Colorado Rockies. He compiled a 534-625 record and captured one National League pennant while serving as manager from 2002-09. Hurdle played parts of three seasons in the minors with the Mets' Triple-A Tidewater affiliate and also managed for six seasons in the minors with the organization.
Wakamatsu, 47, has been named to John Farrell's staff as bench coach with the Toronto Blue Jays, but would be permitted to leave for a managerial gig. In 2009, Wakamatsu went 85-77 as manager of the Mariners -- a 24-win improvement over the ballclub's record the previous season. He was fired with a 42-70 record this year. Wakamatsu is the first Asian-American manager in major league history.
Alderson interviewed another external candidate, Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale, on Tuesday. He already has interviewed five internal candidates: scout Bob Melvin, minor league fielder coordinator Terry Collins, bench coach Dave Jauss, third base coach Chip Hale and Class A manager Wally Backman.
Alderson said he may add one or two more candidates, but the field is largely complete. First-round interviews are due to be completed by this weekend. Alderson expects callbacks next week and hopes to have a manager in place by Dec. 1.
1dKevin Van Valkenburg