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Report: Seattle Mariners eyeing Tony La Russa to take over as team president

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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And we all thought Robinson Cano would be the Seattle Mariners' biggest offseason acquisition. Turns out, the Mariners could be adding a Hall of Famer — Tony La Russa.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Tony La Russa is a top candidate for the soon-to-be-open team president job in Seattle:

La Russa is on the Seattle Mariners' short list of candidates to replace outgoing president Chuck Armstrong, two baseball officials with knowledge of the search told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke on the condition of anonymity since the search process is ongoing.

Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln would neither confirm nor deny La Russa's candidacy, but divulged that the interview process began this week with two candidates within the Mariners' organization.

If Lincoln and the Mariners board of directors believe one of the internal candidates are suited for the job, they won't even bother looking to La Russa or someone outside the organization.

La Russa's accolades are well known: He's the third all-time winningest manager in MLB history. He managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals from 1979 to 2011, winning three World Series. In December, La Russa, 69, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, along with fellow managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.

Though, La Russa stopped managing, he doesn't want to leave baseball. He's current a special assistant to Commissioner Bud Selig, but La Russa told Nightengale he's interested in a front-office job.

"I'm interested in getting to the competition upstairs,'' La Russa said. "I've missed the competition since I left the field. I talked to the commissioner [Bud Selig] about it. It's not a thing where you miss the dugout, but I miss the winning and losing.

"The situation has to be right.''

Perhaps if LaRussa goes to the Mariners, he can convince the Mariners and their corporate overloads, Nintendo, to reboot the "Tony La Russa Baseball" video game franchise.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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