The Giants may be nearing the final stages of their search for Bruce Bochy’s replacement, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that either former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, or Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol will be the next Giants manager. Kapler, Espada, and Grifol are the only candidates known to be asked back for a second interview, thus seemingly confirming them as the top choices.
Among other known candidates, it’s worth noting that the Athletics announced their 2020 coaching staff today, with quality control coach Mark Kotsay listed as returning. Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens has been busy managing the Netherlands’ team in the Premier 12 tournament (which doubles as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics), which perhaps served as an early hint that he wouldn’t be promoted to the top job in San Francisco’s dugout.
“Kapler has at points been the favorite in the process,” a source tells Pavlovic, due to the longstanding relationship between Kapler and Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi due to their time together in the Dodgers’ front office. However, “it’s unclear where the search stands currently,” as both Grifol and Espada have been asked back for secondary interviews. It could be that the Giants are simply doing their due diligence in an important decision, or perhaps one of the other two candidates has started to garner more of the team’s attention.