Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan interviewed with the Marlins and Royals about their managerial vacancies this past week, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reports. Wathan has been fitting these interviews in between gaps in the Phils’ postseason schedule, speaking with Miami last Sunday (the day after the Phillies clinched their NLDS matchup with the Braves) and the Royals on Thursday (between Games 2-3 of the NLCS).
Wathan has never managed at the Major League level, but he did amass quite a bit of dugout experience in the minors from 2008-17, managing affiliates at five different levels of Philadelphia’s farm system. He was also a candidate for the Phillies’ managerial post prior to the 2018 season, and after that job went to Gabe Kapler, Wathan still received a promotion to the MLB coaching staff as the new third base coach.
Following the 2018 season, Wathan interviewed for the Rangers’ managerial opening that was eventually filled by Chris Woodward. Now, the 49-year-old Wathan is again on the radar for teams in need of a new skipper, with the Kansas City job adding some particular intrigue given Wathan’s longstanding ties to the organization.
A veteran of 14 seasons in the minor leagues, Wathan’s only MLB experience came in a Royals uniform, as he appeared in three games during the 2002 season. Beyond that cup of coffee, Wathan also carried on part of a family tradition in Kansas City, as his father John spent 47 years with the organization in a wide variety of roles, including player (from 1976-85) and manager (1987-91). The elder Wathan only just retired at the end of the 2022 season, and Dina Blevins (John’s daughter and Dusty’s sister) still works for the Royals as part of their community impact department.
Wathan is the third known candidate to interview with the Royals in their search for Mike Matheny’s replacement, joining bench coach Pedro Grifol and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. Grifol and Quartraro are also candidates in Miami, and both have received a second interview for the position.
Given that the Marlins are already in the second-interview phase, it would seem like they’re relatively close to making a decision on their new manager, though there haven’t been a lot of public details about the team’s search. Cardinals bench coach Skip Schumaker is also reportedly one of the leading contenders for the job, though it isn’t known if he has also gotten a second interview, or if the pool of Schumaker/Grifol/Quatraro could comprise a group of finalists. Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons also interviewed with the Marlins, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link), but it doesn’t appear that Gibbons is still under consideration.