With the Washington Nationals visiting Miami for a season-ending three-game series this week, the Florida Marlins will interview Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter for the team's impending managerial vacancy.
MLB.com reported Friday that Porter, a former Marlins coach, will meet with team officials Monday morning, as will current Marlins third-base and outfield coach Joe Espada (not at the same time, of course).
This may seem a little premature, since 81-year-old Jack McKeon is technically still the team's manager, but his hiring this summer was an interim move to hold the team over until it could find a more long-term replacement.
Porter was the Marlins' third-base and outfield coach from 2007 to 2009. He left the team to join the Arizona Diamondbacks' coaching staff in 2010, then joined the Nationals' staff this season.
Espada replaced Porter as third base coach in 2010, having previously served as a hitting coach in the team's minor league system.
Both Porter and Espada were candidates to replace Fredi Gonzalez after he was fired in 2010, but the job went to Edwin Rodriguez, who himself resigned earlier this season under dubious circumstances.
Neither man has any experience as a manager in the majors, which is especially curious since team owner Loria said in July the team's next manager "will have to be somebody with experience."
With that in mind, this could be a case of the Marlins interviewing a pair of minority candidates to satisfy Major League Baseball's diversity hiring requirement, so that when the team makes a run at a big name in the offseason it won't face the prospect of a fine from MLB.
Loria has long been interested in hiring either former New York Mets skipper Bobby Valentine and current Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. This week's interviews could simply be a prelude to the courting of either.