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Assistant Wakamatsu eyes Jays' managing job

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell (R) stands with coache Don Wakamatsu during practice at their MLB American League spring training facility in Dunedin Florida, February 24, 2011.

MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS

Don Wakamatsu, the only member of John Farrell's coaching staff this past season with the Toronto Blue Jays who has previous managing experience at the major-league level, admitted Monday night that he is interested in taking over the job.

"Obviously there's not a lot I can tell you right now, and there's a lot I don't know," the former Mariners skipper said in a telephone interview. "Everything's still in a bit of flux right now. Obviously I'd be more than interested in taking that position. It's something that, obviously I know the players very well and have a relationship with quite a few of them."

Wakamatsu, 49, spent about 1 ½ seasons as the manager of the Seattle Mariners, compiling a record of 127-147 before he was fired a couple of months into the 2010 season.

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Wakamatsu joined Farrell's staff as the bench coach for the 2011 season after interviewing for the top job.

Farrell only lasted two years in Toronto before it became clear that the Boston Red Sox were interested in having him as their manager.

The two American League rivals worked out a trade that was formalized on Sunday, leaving the Toronto job open once again.

"I think the main reason I went there in the first place was to be around John and maybe get to grow a little bit and see how somebody else worked," Wakamatsu said. "Obviously I've learned a lot from John. I've been fortunate to work for quite a few managers who are already in the game. So I think I've got a little bit of a different perspective and experience in that."

And Wakamatsu hasn't wasted any time in letting his letting his feelings be known.

He said he's spoken with Anthopoulos about is interest on Sunday morning.

Wakamatsu was asked if he felt the Farrell situation, which dragged on over the latter stages of the season, was a distraction to the players.

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"That stuff I don't really want to comment on right now," he said. "That's in the past. I think right now let's focus on moving forward, getting the manager in Toronto."

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