#4 The Astros and Espada know each other well
Make no mistake--knowing the personnel and continuity are not one in the same. Sure, the Astros could have gone with another internal candidate. Omar Lopez has some managerial experience (and is likely deserving of a promotion to bench coach), and an argument could be made for that being continuity.
A candidate like Rodney Linares managed many Astros minor leaguers on their way up through the system, including Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. Linares knows some of the personnel, but he's been gone since 2018. He wouldn't bring continuity.
Espada is the only candidate that brings continuity and knows the personnel.
For the last six seasons, Espada has run Spring Training. He's been responsible for coaching the infield, which has seen both Carlos Correa and Jeremy Peña win a gold glove at shortstop, Yuli Gurriel at first base, and Mauricio Dubón as a utility player. He's gone to war with this team, both pre and post-scandal.
And that carries weight. Espada said this today:
"I’ve seen this team win a lot of games and I know what it takes to win. I know how to push these players, when to push them, and I think it matters. I think these players trust me, but trust is earned. It’s a two-way street. And I think I’ve done a good job making sure these players know what it takes, and I think that helped me to be a good fit for this job."- Joe Espada
Espada knows what makes the clubhouse tick, and he knows how to engage with them. That is vital for as tight-knit a group as the Astros. There won't be an on-ramp of getting to know everybody, but rather Espada can hit the ground running.
With motivation a plenty after narrowly missing out on a third straight World Series trip, Espada doesn't have to reinvent the wheel to get the guys ready. He will know what buttons to push, and when.
There was only one man to hire all along, and Dana Brown did just that. Joe Espada was the right man for the job.