Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada is reportedly emerging as the likely candidate to replace A.J. Hinch as the Astros’ manager for the 2020 season.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, early indications from Houston indicate that Espada will be promoted to become Houston’s manager. While nothing is official, team executives are expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss their options.
The Astros fired Hinch on Monday following MLB’s announcement that he would be suspended one year for his involvement in electronic sign-stealing. Hinch, one of MLB’s best managers before his firing, was reportedly against the team’s use of technology to steal signs.
Now with Hinch gone, the team must suddenly search for its next manager and it appears Espada could become the hire.
The 44-year-old emerged as a finalist for the managerial openings with the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. However, he remained with the Astros after the Giants hired Gabe Kapler and the Cubs hired David Ross.
Espada is viewed as a name on the rise even before this offseason. He worked with the New York Yankees from 2015-’17. Hiring Espada would give the Astros a new manager that knows the organization, but wasn’t involved with the team during the 2017 season.