Lou Piniella met with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for several hours Saturday, beginning discussions about becoming the last-place team's next manager.
The Devil Rays, in a statement, characterized the meeting as "positive and constructive" and said talks would resume after Piniella returns from a trip to Arizona, where he will attend the funeral of a friend this weekend.
The Devil Rays were given permission to talk to Piniella, a native of Tampa, Fla., after they agreed to provide compensation to the Mariners in the event they sign him.
The New York Mets, without a manager after firing Bobby Valentine, are also interested in interviewing Piniella. But Met officials have been unable to agree with the Mariners on compensation.