The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins aren't commenting on the search.
McClendon managed the Pirates from 2001-05 and went 336-446. He's the Detroit Tigers' hitting coach and has been with them since 2006, twice helping them reach the World Series, including this year.
Former major league manager Larry Bowa, ex-big league catcher Mike Redmond and Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price also interviewed to replace Ozzie Guillen, who was fired after one season. Price later withdrew from consideration.