Last night, I did a little speculatin’ about a possible managerial candidate I’d like to see the Cubs try to speak to: Astros bench coach Joe Espada.
To be sure, I ain’t special – pretty much everyone who is following any of the open managerial gigs outside of L.A. has speculated about Espada, given that he’s a bench coach on arguably the most developmentally-impressive, technologically-competent, and maximally-productive team in baseball. Moreover, he coached for the Yankees before that, worked in the Yankees front office, and also has minor league coaching and developmental experience with the Marlins (where a lot of guys – Brandon Hyde and Anthony Iapoce, for example – made their bones).
On paper, Espada is such an obvious candidate for the Cubs, joining known candidates David Ross, Will Venable, Mark Loretta, and Joe Girardi. Also, Theo Epstein said at his season-ending presser that at least one candidate was currently with a postseason team, so it’s possible Espada was one of those candidates.
So, anyway, I mentioned last night that I hoped the Cubs would get a chance to interview him, and whaddya know, my podcast-mate Patrick Mooney dropped this tonight:
As the Cubs go "full speed ahead" in the search to replace Joe Maddon, Astros bench coach Joe Espada is another name on the list: https://t.co/CJp1gsIDeI
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) October 8, 2019
Pending Espada’s postseason run with the Astros, Mooney reports the Cubs *do* want to speak with him about their managerial opening.
It’s easy to forget – with apologies, I did! – that the interest in talking to A.J. Hinch’s second-in-command also has a connection to this Cubs front office: Hinch not only worked with Jed Hoyer in the Padres’ front office before he came to the Cubs and before Hinch took over the Astros’ managerial job, Hinch was also one of the Cubs’ managerial interviews back when they hired Rick Renteria. You could imagine that if Espada is working particularly well with Hinch, there might be all the more reason for the Cubs’ front office to be interested.
Read Mooney’s report for more of the particulars on the interview schedule this week, as well as much more on Espada.
Then flip on over to Game 4 of the ALDS and hope that the Rays can hang onto their early lead. Maybe they bounce the Astros, and maybe Espada joins the Cubs’ interview list as soon as later this week …