Astros News: 2026 WBC finals in Houston? Jason Bell addition, Teoscar Hernandez

The Astros are in the running to host the 2026 World Baseball Classic finals.

The World Baseball Classic trophy
The World Baseball Classic trophy / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
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The World Baseball Classic was widely viewed as a success this past year. Teams from all over the globe came together last spring and put on a show for the viewing audience.

The final game of the 2023 WBC was played at LoanDepot Park in Miami, and saw Team Japan take down Team USA by a score of 3-2. Newly-signed Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani took home Most Valuable Player honors.

The next WBC is a few years away, but it would seem that the Houston Astros are in the mix to host the finals at Minute Maid Park. However, a familiar foe stands in the way of the Astros' aspirations. The Astros also made another addition to their coaching staff, and saw a former player cash in on a huge payday.

Astros to host 2026 World Baseball Classic finals?

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are the two leading candidates to host the 2026 World Baseball Classic finals. Nightengale cites Major League Baseball's desire to have the games played in a stadium with a retractable roof in the Central Time Zone.

American Family Field in Milwaukee is the only other stadium throughout MLB that meet that criteria is outside of Minute Maid Park in Houston and the new Globe Life Field in Arlington. The Astros, essentially, have a 1-in-3 shot of hosting the 2026 WBC finals.

Astros add Jason Bell to coaching staff

After Dusty Baker's retirement following the 2023 season, Astros fans knew the team's coaching staff would be undergoing a change. It's unlikely, however, that Jason Bell was on their radar. A longtime assistant with the organization's minor-league affiliates, Bell was hired to be an assistant to manager Joe Espada.

Bell has spent the past five seasons as the the Astros' minor league field coordinator. According to MLB.com's Brian McTaggert, Bell will serve as a jack-of-all-trades for Houston in 2024 as the Astros' quality assurance coach.

Former Astros outfielder Teoscar Hernandez has a new home

Some Astros fans may have forgotten, but Teoscar Hernandez began his path to the big leagues with Houston. Hernandez was signed by the Astros as an international free agent in 2011. The outfielder made his major league debut with the Astros in 2016, but in 2017 was part of a trade package that brought Francisco Liriano to Houston.

Hernandez landed in Toronto where he became an All-Star and won two Silver Slugger Awards. After playing this past season with the Seattle Mariners, Hernandez entered free agency. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who've now spent over $1 billion this offseason, signed Hernandez to a one-year/$23.5-million deal with $8.5 million deferred. The Dodgers are ruining the offseason for everyone.

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