Frank McCourt will interview Terry Collins tonight, a high-level source said Thursday, and additional candidates could meet with the Dodger owner before a manager is hired.
Besides Collins, none of the five candidates interviewed by General Manager Paul DePodesta have been contacted by the Dodgers since their interviews two weeks ago. However, a source said McCourt might want to meet with one or more of them.
Collins, the Dodger farm director, has been in Los Angeles all week for organizational meetings and twice has postponed flights to Phoenix in order to be available for McCourt.
Dodger sources have been saying for days that Collins is the leading candidate to replace Jim Tracy, who parted ways with the team after a disappointing 71-91 season and now is manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Collins, 56, has built a strong relationship with DePodesta and is familiar with the minor league prospects expected to form the nucleus of the Dodger roster in coming years.
McCourt has already met with one candidate, former Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser. However, Hershiser was not interviewed in person by DePodesta.
McCourt has not ruled out additional candidates from DePodesta's original list: Dodger triple-A manager Jerry Royster, fired Detroit manager Alan Trammell, San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus and Cleveland minor league manager Torey Lovullo.
DePodesta has spoken over the telephone to other candidates, including Bobby Valentine, whose Chiba Lotte Marines swept the Japan Series this week. An Angel spokesman said Thursday that the Dodgers have not asked permission to speak with Manager Mike Scioscia or his coaches.
Among the candidates interviewed in person, Collins is the most experienced, having managed the Houston Astros from 1994 to 1996 and the Angels from 1997 to 1999, posting five winning seasons before resigning late in the 1999 season amid clubhouse strife.
Trammell lost 300 games the last three seasons in Detroit, but inherited a very poor team his first year that improved substantially in 2004. However, the Tigers finished badly this season. He said Thursday night that the Dodgers have not contacted him since his interview.
Royster hasn't been contacted either. He and his family have returned to their Jupiter, Fla., home after evacuating before Hurricane Wilma hit Monday.
Lovullo, who lives in Northridge during the off-season, is in Florida for the wedding of a friend and isn't expected to return until early next week. Wotus is in Connecticut visiting family and is scheduled to return home to Northern California on Tuesday.