HOUSTON -- Manny Acta, who for 16 years was a coach and player in the Astros' Minor League system, acknowledged via e-mail Friday he has been contact by the Astros about their vacant managerial position.

"It is a very special organization to me," Acta wrote. "I spent 16 years of my baseball career over there. I owe them for shaping me into the baseball man that I'm today."

Acta, 40, spent six years as a player and 10 years a coach and manager in the Houston system, leading the 1999 Kissimmee Cobras to the Gulf Coast League title. He managed the Washington Nationals for two-plus seasons and had a 132-198 career record before being dismissed earlier this season.

Acta was signed by the Astros at age 17 as a first baseman and reached Double-A but never played in the Majors.

Astros general manager Ed Wade and his baseball operations staff will begin interviewing candidates for the manager job on Wednesday. The Astros have about 10 names on their initial list of candidates, with interim manager Dave Clark the only candidate the club has disclosed to the public.

Wade said Thursday that Clark would probably be the first to interview in what will likely be multiple interviews next week. After each candidate goes through the interview, he will sit down and meet with the media.

"We made contact with quite a few of the prospective candidates and set interview times up for them," Wade said. "This is a very attractive opportunity, and everyone I talked to today was very excited and pleased."