Astros bench coach Joe Espada is no longer a candidate to become the next White Sox manager, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports. Espada was reportedly a finalist for the Marlins’ job before Miami hired Skip Schumaker earlier this week, and he hasn’t been linked to the Royals, the only other team still looking for a new manager. As a result, it looks like Espada will again come up short in a bid for his first Major League managerial job, after previously being considered by such teams as the Mets, Giants, Athletics, Twins, and Cubs over the last few seasons.
The 47-year-old Espada has been Houston’s bench coach for the last five seasons, the Yankees’ third base coach/infield coach from 2015-17, and the Marlins’ third base coach from 2010-13. Prior to his first big league posting, Espada also worked as a coach and coordinator for several years in the Marlins farm system. There has been speculation that the Astros might’ve been grooming Espada to step into their managerial post if Dusty Baker wasn’t retained or if the 73-year-old Baker decided to retire, but since Houston is reportedly interested in bringing Baker back in 2023, Espada might have to wait at least one more year if the Astros job is indeed a possibility.
Espada, Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol, and former White Sox and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen are the only candidates confirmed to have interviewed for the White Sox job. Reports surfaced last week that the Sox had interest in speaking with Guillen about a possible return, and NBC Sports Chicago’s Chuck Garfien reported that Guillen’s interview took place last Monday.
Beyond that trio, interim manager Miguel Cairo and Braves third base coach Ron Washington were also known to be under consideration, though it isn’t known if the Sox have actually spoken with either candidate. One would imagine Cairo has already met with the team at some point in the last few weeks, since as Merkin notes, White Sox GM Rick Hahn said during his season wrap-up press conference on October 3 that Cairo would get an interview.
With this uncertainty still surrounding the search, it isn’t known if the White Sox have any other interviews lined up, or if they’re approaching any sort of “finalist” stage. It is possible the Sox might be waiting until the World Series is over (or at least for the Series’ scheduled off-days on October 30 or November 3) to make an official announcement, if they are indeed close to a decision.