The Cubs could announce their next manager as soon as Monday, but for now there are two candidates seen as favorites to replace Joe Maddon in the dugout. After interviewing with the Cubs on Monday, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and David Ross appear to be ahead of the pack.

While Ross remains the favorite, Espada certainly made a great impression, as he tries to get his first manager position in the majors.

Via the Chicago Sun-Times.

After an interview Monday with Espada that sources say impressed Cubs executives, insiders suggest it’s a two-man race for the Cubs job, with in-house candidate Ross holding the edge.

NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan reiterated the same on Thursday.

If Espada turns out to be the Cubs’ number one choice, they’ll have at least one team to compete with for his services. The Giants are set to interview Espada for their open manager position as well.

The Giants were also reportedly interested in interviewing Cubs first base coach Will Venable.

Venable also interviewed with the Cubs last week.

Meanwhile, Joe Girardi still seems to be the favorite for the Mets job, while Gabe Kapler might just end up being hired by the Cubs for their amateur scouting department. At this point, that’s just speculation on Kapler, who did interview with the Cubs this week.

The Astros currently have a 2-1 series lead over the Yankees in the ALCS. The World Series begins next Tuesday.

While the Cubs haven’t made a decision on their new manager yet, they did make some changes to their player development department on Thursday.

More changes are expected to come in the near future.