Report: Astros to Hire Bench Coach Joe Espada as New Manager

Astros bench coach Joe Espada will become the new manager according to reports.
Astros bench coach Joe Espada will become the new manager according to reports. Photo by Jack Gorman
In a report from respected baseball write Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Astros will sign current bench coach Joe Espada to be the team's new manager as soon as Monday. Espada has been with the organization for seven seasons, joining the team in 2018. He will follow manager Dusty Baker, who retired at the end of the season.

Espada, by all accounts, is well liked by players and members of the front office. He is an analytics driven coach who has great relationships with players, particularly with the substantial number of Latin American members of the organization. He has interviewed previously with several ballclubs but this would be his first managerial job.

His hiring would be a continuation of the years of success for the Astros which have included two World Series titles including 2022 when Espada was in his current position. Given the makeup of the team and the respect he garners within the organization, it felt almost like a given that he would eventually wind up as the successor to Baker.

He inherits a team that was one game away from a World Series and has been to seven straight American League Championship Series, but there remain question marks about the lineup and the pitching staff. GM Dana Brown will likely be busy looking for help in the bullpen and at the backup catcher spot, but the Astros don't have a ton of financial flexibility as they are close to Major League Baseball's tax apron.

But, Espada will have a very good team to work with right out of the gate and will be given every opportunity to succeed. 
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke