The Cubs have been busy interviewing candidates to succeed Joe Maddon as manager.
Since the 2019 season ended for the Cubs, Joe Girardi, David Ross, Mark Loretta and Will Venable completed interviews.
Now, we have learned of two more candidates to be interviewed by Theo Epstein and his management team:
Cubs to interview Gabe Kapler and Joe Espada this week for their managerial position. Should be final two candidates.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) October 14, 2019
The key in that tweet is the final sentence — that Gabe Kapler, recently dismissed as Philles manager, and Joe Espada, currently Astros bench coach, will be the “final two candidates.”
That makes six men being interviewed, three internal and three external. Of the three external candidates, two (Girardi and Kapler) have previously managed. The other, Espada, is currently involved in important games, the American League Championship Series. It’s not surprising the Astros would grant permission for him to be interviewed — teams routinely do this when a promotion is possible. It is a bit surprising that the interview would take place during the ALCS. But here we are.
I am a bit surprised the Cubs want to talk with Kapler, who was rather unceremoniously dismissed after two middling seasons with the Phillies, both of which resulted in late-season collapses. The Cubs ought to be familiar with that after this past season.
Espada has been viewed as an up-and-coming managerial prospect for some time. I suppose it’s possible the Cubs want someone to come in from the outside and “shake up things,” but in the end, my opinion hasn’t changed. I think the Cubs are simply doing due diligence and they will eventually name David Ross to the position.
As always, we await developments. Now that the field has apparently been narrowed to six, a decision could come soon.