Astros Likely to Retain Possible Managerial Candidate for 2023
The Houston Astros have had Joe Espada on staff since 2018, while his contributions to four American League Championship Series and defensive mentorship have sparked interest from other organizations across Major League Baseball.
While sought out by the Oakland A’s and the New York Mets this offseason, the bench coach is unlikely to sign to be a manager of another ball club for 2022. On Saturday, the Mets signed Buck Showalter to be their manager, while Espada remained a finalist yet again.
On a similar hand, the A’s are nearing a managerial hire with their current third base coach, Mark Kotsay. Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reports that Oakland’s “focus appears to be” Kotsay, who is also a former major-league outfielder.
Mets’ owner Steve Cohen conducted his second round of interviews this past week where he met with Espada on Thursday, as reported by Buster Olney of ESPN. But in the end, Cohen selected the veteran, who pitcher Max Scherzer campaigned for.
The Astros add to their coaching staff, even though Joe Espada is likely staying.
Hitting coach Alex Cintron is a member of the current staff that has possibly received coaching offers by other organizations, one likely being from his friend Alex Cora, the current manager of the Boston Red Sox. But, Cintron still remains as one of the three hitting coaches.
As reported by Michael Schwab of Houstonia Magazine, the Astros promoted a third hitting coach to the major-league staff in Jason Kanzler from the minor-league hitting coordinator position. Either Cintron or Troy Snitker could have likely taken the bench coach role, if Espada were to have signed in New York.
The Astros have three hitting coaches on staff and a manager on a one-year deal. With Dusty Baker climbing in age and possibly out after 2022, many fans have theorized Espada will succeed him, as others have called for him to be manager ever since A.J. Hinch was let go.
If Espada doesn’t swoop in and take the managerial job in Oakland, he would likely remain in Houston for 2022, while still under contract. Next offseason, teams with openings will call the infield specialist, but the Astros should be the first to offer, if Baker is no-longer in the picture.
There looks to be a shuffle of coaching staff that could have some members of the minor league teams moving up, too. The Skeeters’ hitting coach, Ben Rosenthal, was signed by the Boston Red Sox to be their assistant hitting coach, Chris Cotillo of MassLive reports.
The organization also recently signed Andrew Cresci of Driveline Baseball to be a minor-league hitting coach, after promoting Kanzler. The Astros also lost international scout Roman Ocumarez to the Miami Marlins.