Seattle Mariners president Chuck Armstrong phoned Friday to dispute my report in this week's Short Hops that he's been telling people that interim general manager Lee Pelekoudas will not be a candidate for the permanent general manager's job.
"We have assured Lee that he's a candidate for the job," Armstrong said. "We think he's doing a great job."
I've heard otherwise, of course, regarding Pelekoudas' candidacy. But out of respect to Armstrong and the Mariners, here's the latest from the Seattle president regarding where the GM search stands:
Just back from the owners' meetings in Washington, D.C., Armstrong said he intends to hone in on the club's list of potential GMs this month. He's already compiled, at ownership's request, a "comprehensive list" of qualified candidates that the Mariners might want to consider.
"For the rest of August, I'm going to whittle that list down and do my due diligence," Armstrong said.
The basic time frame, he said, would be to seek permission from other clubs to interview any candidates who are currently employed elsewhere during the month of September, and then conduct interviews in October.
Assuming no major surprises, Armstrong said, "our goal is to have the selection in place by the end of October."
That would have the Mariners up and running by the time of baseball's annual GM meetings the first week of November -- and in plenty of time for personnel decisions and free-agent decisions as the winter progresses.