The Pirates have narrowed their list of managerial candidates to Jeff Banister and Clint Hurdle.
Team president Frank Coonelly confirmed in an e-mail to the Post-Gazette that Banister is the only candidate from the original batch of interviews still under consideration. The Pirates will interview Hurdle, the Texas Rangers' hitting coach and former Colorado Rockies manager, this week.
Banister, a part of the organization for the past 25 years, was the minor league field coordinator for eight years before becoming John Russell's bench coach in early August.
Coonelly said the team is open to considering other candidates "if we believe that we have not yet found the best person for the job." The team has not scheduled any other interviews at this time, he said.
Hurdle was not available until Tuesday because the Rangers were playing in the World Series.
The Pirates have interviewed seven candidates and four were no longer under consideration. The other two, Bo Porter and Carlos Tosca, took other jobs. Tosca will be the Atlanta Braves' bench coach and Porter is the third-base coach for the Washington Nationals.
Reliever Wil Ledezma avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms Wednesday on a contract for the 2011 season.
Also Wednesday, the Pirates removed pitchers Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Ascanio and first baseman Steve Pearce from the 60-day disabled list.
They activated first baseman Jeff Clement from the 60-day DL as well and sent him outright to Class AAA Indianapolis.
Pitchers Sean Gallagher, Steven Jackson and Justin Thomas, along with outfielder Brandon Moss, also were sent outright to Indianapolis.
Reliever Chan Ho Park became a free agent, leaving 38 players on the 40-man roster.
Bill Brink: email@example.com .