Sources within the Seattle Mariners front office are saying it's almost certain manager Jim Lefebvre won't be rehired in 1992, and the man who replaces him could come from his own dugout -- third-base coach Bill Plummer or infield coach Ron Clark, McClatchy News Service reported yesterday.
Sources said that although neither coach has been contacted, they are considered the leading candidates should general manager Woody Woodward decide not to retain Lefebvre.
Woodward, who has said no decision on Lefebvre will be made until after the season -- when the manager's contract expires -- declined to discuss Lefebvre's status.
* PADRES: Tony Gwynn, the NL batting leader with a .323 average, returned to the lineup after missing three games with a left knee injury.
Fluid was drained from the knee, and Gwynn received a cortisone shot in treatment Saturday.
* PIRATES: The team signed a new, 20-year agreement with Bradenton, Fla., to keep its spring training camp and minor-league complex in the Gulf Coast city.
* RANGERS: Texas moved pitcher Brad Arnsberg from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list after it was decided that the 28-year-old right-hander will have elbow surgery.