The Mets have received permission to interview Texas Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, several sources reported Sunday.
While the upcoming interview is expected to be for the team's vacant managerial position, it is believed the Mets may also offer Jaramillo an opportunity to serve as the hitting coach under a new manager.
The Mets concluded the season with Don Baylor serving in that capacity, but due to Baylor's close friendship with former manager Art Howe and Baylor's desire to manage in the major leagues, he is not expected to return.
Jaramillo has been said to be atop a short list of early candidates assembled by new Mets GM Omar Minaya, who has a long-standing relationship with the hitting instructor from when both were with the Rangers.
Jaramillo recently turned down a five-year, $2 million offer from Texas and it is considered that he'd be receptive to an offer from the Mets.
The Mets are also said to have interest in interviewing Atlanta Braves special assistant Jim Fregosi and Yankees bench coach Willie Randolph, although the team will wait to request permission until each respective club has completed postseason play.
Lenny Dykstra, an unofficial adviser to the Mets' front office, has suggested Kirk Gibson – currently a bench coach with the Detroit Tigers – as a possible candidate, but the Mets don't appear poised to move quickly on that front.
The Mets can scratch Carl Pavano off their list of free agent pitching candidates, according to the New York Daily News. Citing friends of the righthander, the newspaper reported that Pavano has no interest in pitching in New York and would be receptive to re-signing with the Florida Marlins.