Riggleman, Geren in Mets' bench-coach mix

Riggleman, Geren in Mets' bench-coach mix

Riggleman, Geren in Mets' bench-coach mix
NEW YORK -- The Mets have interviewed former big league managers Jim Riggleman and Bob Geren for their bench-coach vacancy and hope to complete their coaching-staff hires by next week, according to a team official.

The Mets are also in the process of interviewing candidates for their first-base-coach vacancy.

The team on Thursday interviewed Geren, 50, whom the underperforming A's dismissed as manager in June amidst a public spat with then-closer Brian Fuentes. Geren was replaced in Oakland by Bob Melvin, who was a finalist for the Mets' managerial job that ultimately went to Terry Collins last winter.

Beginning his coaching career as a Minor League manager in the Red Sox organization in the 1990s, Geren eventually moved to the A's as a Minor League manager, big league bench coach and, finally, manager -- beginning in 2007. His original hiring in Oakland came courtesy of a front office staffed by current Mets executives Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi.

Earlier this week, the Mets also interviewed Riggleman, 58, who cited contract issues in resigning from his post as Nationals manager in June. Riggleman and Collins have a history dating back to their time as teammates for the Double-A Waterbury Dodgers in 1974.

Either man would mesh with general manager Sandy Alderson's stated desire for a bench coach with more big league experience than Ken Oberkfell, whom the team relieved of his duties earlier this month. Riggleman, in particular, boasts 11 years of managerial experience in the National League -- and three in the NL East -- and most recently worked as a special-assignment scout for the Giants.

Though a team official said that the Mets may still conduct more interviews, that process will not include long-time big league manager and coach Larry Bowa, whose name had been linked to the opening.

After third-base coach Chip Hale left New York to become Oakland's bench coach earlier this month, the Mets engineered a surprise coaching shakeup, relieving Oberkfell, bullpen coach Jon Debus and first-base coach Mookie Wilson of their duties. Tim Teufel was named third-base coach and Ricky Bones bullpen coach.

The Mets are currently interviewing first-base-coach candidates, and hope to finalize their entire coaching staff by next week.

As previously announced, hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who is entering the second season of a two-year contract, and pitching coach Dan Warthen will remain on staff in their old roles.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.