LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Dodgers have received permission to interview Cleveland Indians third base coach Joel Skinner for their vacant managerial job.

Skinner joins Jim Fregosi, John McLaren, Grady Little and Manny Acta as candidates for a position that’s been vacant since the team parted ways with Jim Tracy on Oct. 3 – the day after the season ended.

The 44-year-old Skinner has been a coach for the Indians the past five years, and served as interim manager during the second half of the 2002 season as a replacement for Charlie Manuel, the current manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Skinner played in the majors for nine seasons as a catcher with the Indians, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. He has managed in the minor leagues for seven seasons.

Skinner’s father, Bob, played in the big leagues for 12 seasons and later managed the Phillies and San Diego Padres.

Fregosi interviewed with general manager Ned Colletti and other staff members on Nov. 19, while McLaren did the same Monday.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said Tuesday that Little, Acta and Skinner will all be interviewed before Baseball’s Winter Meetings begin next Monday in Dallas.

Acta said his interview will take place Thursday.

“It took me by surprise that a team with such tradition as the Dodgers would consider me,” Acta told the Associated Press in the Dominican Republic. “I’m going with an open mind as if the job was mine. The Dodgers are equal to baseball, so I feel proud to be considered to be their manager.”

Acta, 36, is the third base and infield coach for the New York Mets. He will manage the Dominican Republic team that will play in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Meanwhile, Rawitch said he couldn’t confirm a report that Colletti was meeting with Adam Katz, an agent for free-agent infielder Rafael Furcal, on Tuesday night.

Associated Press Writer Ricardo Zuniga contributed to this report.

AP-ES-11-29-05 2021EST

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