DeMarlo Hale congratulates Nick Johnson on a home run during the 2012 season, when he was the Orioles’ third base coach. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Nationals interviewed Toronto Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale for their managerial vacancy sometime in the past two weeks, according to a person familiar with the situation. Hale, who has also coached for the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, becomes the third external candidate the Nationals have interviewed as they seek a replacement for Davey Johnson.

Hale, who has been considered for major league manager positions in the recent past, is the fifth candidate known to have interviewed for the job. He joins bench coach Randy Knorr, first base coach Trent Jewett, Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams and Padres front office assistant Brad Ausmus.

By interviewing Hale, who is African-American, the Nationals fulfilled the obligation set forth by Major League Baseball to interview a minority candidate for a managerial opening. The Nationals did not seek out Hale strictly for that reason, though. The Nationals admired Hale’s career and consider him a viable candidate. According to a person close to the situation, Hale impressed Nationals officials during his interview.

Hale, 52, played five minor league seasons as an outfielder and infielder for the Red Sox and Oakland A’s. Hale managed in the minor leagues for nine seasons, starting at Class AA Trenton in 1993. Over that Span, Hale’s teams went 634-614.

Hale became a major league coach in 2002 and spent three years on the Texas Rangers’ staff. Hale coached third base for the Red Sox from 2006 through 2009, then became their bench coach for two seasons. Hale coached third base for the Orioles in 2012 and then joined the Blue Jays on John Gibbons’s staff for the past season.

Hale has been considered a possible future manager for years. Before the 2011 season, Hale interviewed for Toronto’s managerial opening and was reportedly considered one of four finalists. The job ultimately went to John Farrell, who now manages the Red Sox. Hale also interviewed for the Seattle Mariners’

Prior to the 2012 season, Hale interviewed for the Chicago Cubs’  job, which ultimately went to Dale Sveum. Hale was asked to interview for that position by Theo Epstein, who was the Red Sox’ general manager during Hale’s time on Boston’s staff.  Hale also interviewed for the Mariners’ vacancy before the 2009 season.