During the past week we’ve learned of four candidates who have already interviewed or will interview for the Cubs manager position. Bench coach Mark Loretta was first up last Thursday and on Monday first base coach Will Venable interviewed. Joe Girardi is set to talk with the Cubs Wednesday and David Ross will follow this week.

While the Cubs reportedly were interested in Raul Ibañez, he’s taken his name off the table for any open managerial spot, content to stay at home in Miami and keep working for the Dodgers front office. However, on Tuesday night we finally learned who the playoff coach is that Theo Epstein mentioned last week.

The speculation was confirmed by The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney. The Cubs want to interview Astros bench coach Joe Espada for their manager position.

Mooney reminds us all that it’s pretty easy to connect Espada to the Cubs by way of Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch, who was once in the running to become the Cubs manager prior to the 2014 season.

Via The Athletic.

Espada’s availability depends on Houston’s playoff schedule, but the Cubs would like to speak with someone who has spent the last two seasons inside a cutting-edge organization, working next to Astros manager A.J. Hinch.
It’s easy to connect the dots between Espada, 44, and the Cubs. Hinch worked in San Diego’s front office when general manager Jed Hoyer ran the Padres. After Hoyer moved to Chicago, Hinch interviewed for the managerial job that went to Rick Renteria after the 2013 season. Hinch’s last bench coach, Alex Cora, earned a World Series ring with the 2017 Astros and then managed the Red Sox to 108 wins and last year’s World Series title.

Espada began his coaching career in the Marlins organization back in 2007, working in the minors as a hitting coach and infield coordinator, before he was promoted to their MLB third base coach in 2010. After four seasons in Miami Espada was hired by the Yankees to work as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman. In 2015, Espada became the Yankees’ third base coach and then became the Astros bench coach after the 2017 season.

Espada has also coached the Puerto Rican team in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics and he’s also managed a team in Puerto Rico during winter baseball.

The Astors host Game 5 of the ALDS against the Rays on Thursday. If Houston can’t win the series, then Espada might be scheduled for an interview with the Cubs shortly after.