LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers have received permission to interview Tampa Bay Devil Rays bench coach John McLaren for their vacant managerial job.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said Friday he didn’t know when McLaren would meet with new general manager Ned Colletti. Rawitch also said Colletti planned to request permission to interview at least one other potential candidate who is under contract with another team.

McLaren was a finalist for the Devil Rays managerial job, losing out to former Los Angeles Angels bench coach Joe Maddon earlier this month.

The Tampa Bay job became vacant when the team agreed to buy out the final season of Lou Piniella’s contract. McLaren spent the last 13 seasons as part of Piniella’s coaching staffs in Seattle and Tampa Bay.

The only other known candidate for the Dodgers’ job is former major league manager Jim Fregosi. Colletti met with Fregosi for about three hours in Tampa last weekend.

The Dodgers got permission to speak with Angels pitching coach Bud Black earlier this week, but Black decided to remain in his current position.

The Dodgers have been without a manager since parting ways with Jim Tracy on Oct. 3 – the day after the season ended. Los Angeles was 71-91 one year after winning the NL West with a 93-69 mark.

Paul DePodesta was nearing the end of a managerial search when he was fired as the Dodgers’ GM on Oct. 29. Colletti was introduced Nov. 16, and said his first priority was to select a new manager.

Rawitch also confirmed that outfielder Jayson Werth underwent surgery last week to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. Recovery time is up to five months, meaning Werth probably won’t be ready at the beginning of spring training.

Werth was hit on the wrist by an A.J. Burnett pitch in the Dodgers’ first exhibition game last spring, and missed the first 44 games of the regular season. Werth hit .234 in 337 at-bats and said in the season’s final week his wrist had bothered him all year.

MLB.com was the first to report that Werth underwent surgery.

AP-ES-11-25-05 1623EST


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