Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez ( Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Is Dave Martinez the top candidate for Houston Astros manager?

With the search for Bo Porter‘s replacement already underway, one man is emerging as the possible frontrunner. The name Dave Martinez keeps coming up. When asked about his interest in the Astros managerial position the Tampa Bay Rays bench coach  said “it would be a great opportunity”.

Martinez, who interviewed with the Astros during their last managerial search, says he has not been contacted about the job. But the interest is there. Martinez told MLB.com’s Adam Berry “I feel that I’m ready” and “I think their organization’s heading in the right direction”.

A veteran of 16 big league seasons, Martinez has spent the last seven years working as Joe Maddon‘s right hand man. His lengthy run in the Rays organization would seem to make him a match with Jeff Luhnow and Houston’s analytically driven approach. The Rays, under G.M. Andrew Friedman, employ a similar business model.

In addition to interviewing with the Astros two years ago, Martinez has also interviewed for managerial openings with other big league clubs — including the Cubs and Indians. Martinez is sure to be back in demand this offseason once more managerial openings become available. By firing Porter with a month left in the season the Astros get the jump on the competition (just like 2 years ago). Hopefully it works out a little better this time around.

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