New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson opened the managerial interview process Thursday by meeting with Bob Melvin and Dave Jauss in New York.
Alderson plans to continue his search for Jerry Manuel's successor when he interviews fellow in-house candidates Wally Backman, Terry Collins and Chip Hale this weekend in California, the organization announced.
Ken Oberkfell, a sixth in-house managerial candidate, is expected to interview in the Dominican Republic next week when Alderson visits that country.
"We had productive meetings today with Bob Melvin and Dave Jauss as we begin the interview process for our manager position," Alderson said in a statement.
Melvin, 49, managed the Seattle Mariners in 2003 and 2004 and the Diamondbacks from 2005 to 2009, posting a combined 493-508 record. He served as a scout for the Mets this past season, monitoring the AL East and West.
Jauss, 53, spent last season as Manuel's bench coach with the Mets. He previously served in the same capacity for two seasons apiece with the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers. He managed Licey in the Dominican Republic last winter.
An infielder on the 1986 champion Mets and a fan favorite, Backman returned to the organization this year as manager of short-season Brooklyn. Before managing the New York-Penn League team, the 51-year-old Backman had waited five years for another chance with a Major League Baseball organization. He had been named Arizona Diamondbacks manager on Nov. 1, 2004, but was dismissed four days later when past off-the-field transgressions came to light.
Collins, 61, joined the organization this season as minor league field coordinator. He managed the Houston Astros from 1994 to 1996 and the Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 1999, compiling a combined 444-434 record.
Hale, 45, served as the Mets third base coach this past season after serving in the same role with the Diamondbacks the previous three years. He managed Arizona's Triple-A Tucson affiliate from 2004 to 2006, and won the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A championships in the final of those three seasons while going 91-53.
Oberkfell, 54, has returned to manage Escogido in the Dominican Winter League after leading that team to the Caribbean Series title during the 2009-10 offseason. He has managed the Mets' Triple-A affiliate for the past six seasons, through stops in Norfolk, New Orleans and Buffalo.
Ownership has recommended pitching coach Dan Warthen and Hale remain on the major league staff no matter the next managerial selection.
The weekend meetings in California are convenient for Alderson since he still has a home in San Diego and is fulfilling teaching obligations with a Cal-Berkeley sports-marketing class that meets Monday.
The Mets have indicated that interviews with candidates not affiliated with the organization will begin next week.
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.