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Sources: Mike Maddux, A.J. Hinch among possibilities for Astros' managerial job

The Astros are in the preliminary stages of their search, with Mike Maddux and A.J. Hinch among the possibilities.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Since firing manager Bo Porter at the beginning of the month, the Astros have been engaged in the preliminary stages of a managerial search that has as its goal the naming of a replacement by the end of the regular season. With 10 days having passed since Porter's dismissal, the organization is likely going to start the interview process soon. Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux and recently-resigned interm general manager of the San Diego Padres A.J. Hinch have been mentioned by sources as being among the possible candidates.

According to one industry source, Rangers' pitching coach Mike Maddux may be considered a frontrunner for the Astros' job due to his expiring contract with Texas and strong relationship with special adviser Nolan Ryan. As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported earlier in the week, Maddux has interest in the Astros' job, and it is likely reciprocated due to Ryan's influence within the organization.

Maddux is one of a few candidates who are expected to draw interest from the Astros after losing out to Porter in 2012, joining Rangers' interim manager Tim Bogar and Rays' bench coach Dave Martinez, among others. Multiple reports have also linked names like interim manager Tom Lawless, special adviser Craig Biggio, Tigers' third-base coach Dave Clark, and White Sox' third-base coach Joe McEwing to the Astros' opening, though it remains to be seen whether or not the organization is seriously considering any of those candidates.

One name that seems to be a stronger possibility is ex-Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, who recently resigned from his job with the Padres after serving as their interim general manager alongside Omar Minaya following the June termination of Josh Byrnes. Major league sources indicate that Hinch has familiarity with Astros personnel and would likely be interested in the job. Houston is known to be looking for a manager who will be able to work with the analytical-minded front office, so Hinch's experience as a player, manager, and front office executive at the major league level is likely attractive to the organization.