Former Red Sox catcher and current special assistant to the general manager Jason Varitek is not only a candidate to be the Mariners next manager, but has already had an interview for the position according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
It didn't take long after Varitek's retirement for his name to show up as a potential managerial candidate. While this is the closest he's actually gotten to the position, even back when the Red Sox were searching for a skipper back before 2013, Varitek's name was bandied about by fans and a few folks in the media. At the time, Varitek seemed committed to taking a bit of a break before diving completely back into baseball. Now, though, he's very clearly on the short list, and could be rejoining the team that first drafted him all those years ago.
The Mariners finished below .500 this season, with general manager Jack Zduriencik finally getting the axe after his unsuccessful run in charge, with manager Lloyd McClendon not far behind. It seems like new general manager Jerry Dipoto is looking primarily at candidates without major league experience for the job (Varitek is joined on the short list by other former Red Sox in Alex Cora and Tim Bogar) given how his time in Los Angeles was plagued by a rocky relationship with long-time manager Mike Scioscia.
Varitek, for his part, has always been known as one of the brighter minds in baseball, which could actually help or hurt his candidacy. If Dipoto wants someone who will just go along with mandates from higher up, Varitek is probably not the best candidate. But it also might just put him in line with the analytical-minded Dipoto. Either way, both men would have their work cut out for them to turn the Mariners around in 2016, but chances are Varitek would get more of a chance to succeed than his predecessor.
According to Scott Lauber, if Varitek does not land the job in Seattle, he will stay on in his current consulting role with the Red Sox.