Minaya also has talked to Bobby V as 'friend'

NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo
interviewed with the New York Mets on Friday, the second candidate
to apply for the managerial opening since the firing of Art Howe.

The 54-year-old Jaramillo met with Mets general manager Omar
Minaya, a longtime friend, and assistant GM John Ricco.

The Mets expect to interview New York Yankees bench coach Willie
Randolph on Monday and former Anaheim Angels manager Terry Collins
on Tuesday, Minaya said.

"Omar and I know each other a long time," Jaramillo said.

"There's a lot of trust between us. The big key is for the manager
and general manager to work together and communicate."

Jaramillo finished his 10th season as the Rangers hitting coach.
He reportedly turned down a 5-year, $2 million offer from Texas.

The Rangers finished 89-73 in the AL West and batted .266 this
season. The Mets finished 71-91 in the NL East -- their third
straight 90-loss season -- and hit .249.

The Mets hitting coach slot opened when Don Baylor was let go on
Wednesday. Jamarillo said the managerial job was the only position
discussed, and he would turn down the hitting coach job if offered.

"I would return back to Texas," he said. "The only interest I
have right now is with the Mets (as manager)."

Jaramillo has experience as a minor league manager, and Minaya
served on his coaching staff in the Gulf Coast League in 1985-86.
They worked with 40 to 50 players and one pitching coach.

"Omar was a tireless worker," Jaramillo said. "We kept
grinding every day and giving it everything we had. That's why
we're in the positions we are in today.

"It's totally different in the big leagues. I believe in myself
and am confident I can make the adjustments."

Jaramillo also met with Jeff Wilpon, the team's chief operating
officer. Minaya said he agreed to give the Rangers a decision about
Jaramillo a week after the World Series ends.

Former Toronto Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca interviewed with
the Mets last Friday. Minaya said he has spoken informally with
former Mets manager Bobby Valentine.

"I've spoken to him on a personal level as a friend," Minaya
said. "On an official basis, I don't want to comment because Bobby
is under contract."

Valentine signed a 3-year deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines of
the Japanese League last November.