ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Former major-league third baseman Ken Oberkfell is emerging as the leading candidate to manage the Buffalo Bisons in 2009.
Oberkfell has been reassigned off the New York Mets' staff by manager Jerry Manuel and is expected to be offered the post at the head of the Herd. Oberkfell was managing in New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League last season and was called up to join the big club as a coach when Willie Randolph was fired and Manuel was hired on an interim basis.
Oberkfell, 52, played 16 years in the majors and was the starting third baseman for St. Louis' World Series champions in 1982. He also played on San Francisco's National League championship team in 1989 and with four other teams.
Buffalo General Manager Mike Buczkowski has had dialogue about the Herd staff with Adam Wogan, the Mets' director of minor-league operations.
"They've had to wait to see what Jerry [Manuel] does with his staff," Buczkowski said.
Oberkfell has spent 14 seasons as a minor-league manager and was named Baseball America's Manager of the Year in 2005 after leading the Mets' Triple-A team in Norfolk, Va. to a 79-65 record and the International League South title. He led New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League to a 75-69 record in 2007.
Ex-big-league pitcher Ricky Bones could move from Double-A Binghamton to Buffalo as pitching coach.