The New York Yankees have interviewed Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Eric Wedge for their vacant managerial job, the team announced Friday.
Wedge, 49, has most recently been a field coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays' minor league system and a regular visitor to Bisons' games. He had returned to live in Western New York after he was fired by the Seattle Mariners in 2013. His wife, Kate, is an Alden native he met in 2001 while managing the Bisons.
Wedge directed the Herd to a 178-108 record with back-to-back stellar seasons in 2001 and 2002. The '01 team went 91-51, the most wins by a Buffalo team since 1936 and the highest total in the modern era. The Herd was 87-57 under Wedge in '02 before losing to Durham in the Governors Cup finals.
Wedge was promoted to Cleveland in 2003 and managed the Indians for seven seasons. His best year was 2007, when he was named American League Manager of the Year. The Indians won the AL Central and eliminated the Yankees in four games in the division series, leading to the firing of Joe Torre. Cleveland then had a 3-1 lead over Boston in the ALCS but dropped the final three games and did not make the World Series.
Wedge was fired by the Indians following the 2009 season and had three struggling years in Seattle before he was dismissed. He has not managed since. His overall big-league record is 774-846 – but he compiled a stellar 391-315 mark in five minor-league seasons in the Cleveland chain.
Wedge is the second man the Yankees have interviewed in the search to replace Joe Girardi. Bench coach Rob Thomson interviewed on Wednesday and the team is expected to speak to several candidates. Former players Aaron Boone, David Cone and John Flaherty – all of whom are currently working in television – have publicly expressed interest.