Astros bench coach Joe Espada has been linked to another managerial opening, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link) that the Giants have asked the Astros for permission to speak to Espada. This will mark the third team who has put Espada on their radar this offseason, as he has already interviewed with the Cubs and received some consideration from the Angels before Los Angeles hired Joe Maddon. At least three more teams (the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Rangers) all considered Espada for managerial vacancies last offseason, as well.
As Heyman notes, San Francisco’s list of known candidates consists of “mostly younger guys” who have never managed at the Major League level before, like the 44-year-old Espada. Gabe Kapler and Mike Matheny (who has to be interviewed for the job) are the only candidates who have been big league skippers, though Kapler is only 44 years old and Matheny is 49. Longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus, at 58, is the oldest of the candidates. It certainly seems as though Giants president of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi is looking to follow the league’s recent trend towards younger, more analytically-inclined dugout bosses, though Zaidi said earlier this month that he was going to embark on a rather extensive search, so more candidates could still emerge.
More from around the AL West…
- Anthony Rendon in a Mariners uniform? It isn’t like to happen via free agency this offseason, though it was almost a reality back in 2011 when the M’s heavily scouted Rendon as the second overall pick in the draft, The Athletic’s Corey Brock writes (subscription required). “Going into the draft, [Rendon] was probably the player a lot of people thought we were going to take…and we did, too,” then-general manager Jack Zduriencik said. The Mariners had other players on their radar, however, and as draft day approached, Danny Hultzen eventually emerged as the pick. While selecting the highly-touted Hultzen was a perfectly respectable choice at the time, it ended up being a critical miss for Seattle —- Hultzen battled injuries throughout his career and only made his MLB debut this season, as a reliever for the Cubs. Rendon, of course, has gone onto stardom, as have several other players from what now looks like a stacked draft class. Rendon was the sixth overall pick, and Trevor Bauer (3rd), Francisco Lindor (8th), Javier Baez (9th), and George Springer (11th) also went in the top half of the first round.
- The Athletics have promoted Ed Sprague to director of player development, as per a team press release (Twitter link). Sprague will take over from Keith Lieppman, who has served in the role for the last 28 seasons as part of a 49-year run in the organization. Lieppman will become a special advisor to the player development department. Sprague, perhaps best known as a starting third baseman for the Blue Jays during his 11-year playing career, has worked in Oakland’s front office for the past four years.