In somewhat of a surprise, the Cubs are interviewing Astros bench coach Joe Espada today for their managerial vacancy, as reported by BleacherNation.
It was assumed that the Cubs would not be able to make this happen until the Astros were eliminated from the postseason. However, with today a travel day as the ALCS moves from Houston to New York, it was perfect timing for Theo and co. to set up a meeting. This is terrific news, as this not only shows Espada how interested the Cubs are in him but also shows the Cubs that Espada is equally as intrigued. There are a number of teams who have expressed interest, and Espada chose the Cubs in his one day off. That means something. If managing the Cubs in 2020 wasn’t something he strongly considered, he would not interview in the middle of the ALCS.
While he’s not a big-name candidate like Joe Girardi or David Ross, Espada is likely the best candidate of them all to replace Joe Maddon heading into 2020, as I stated in this article last week. Espada is an external voice, unlike Ross, that can evoke a new culture in the clubhouse, which was a goal Theo Epstein mentioned in his press conference two weeks ago. Also, Espada is young enough and possesses the communication skills to relate to the players in the clubhouse, unlike Girardi. Espada has been Yankee GM Brian Cashman’s assistant in the past and has been involved with the best organization in baseball in terms of player development over the past three seasons. Although he has no managing experience, he has learned from the best baseball minds in his career thus far. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer should do whatever they can to have him lead the Cubs in 2020.
Featured Photo: Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle