The Chicago Cubs have already had Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada in for a second interview, but according to a new report, he is no longer the only candidate to get that opportunity for another meeting with the club.
According to NBC Sports Chicago’s Kelly Crull, the Cubs have also had a second interview with former catcher David Ross. Ross, long considered to be the favorite for the Cubs’ managerial job, interviewed early in the process, but has now met with the team a second time for “expanded” conversations, according to Crull’s report.
Ross, currently an analyst for ESPN and a special adviser with the Cubs, has been viewed as the betting favorite for the position ever since Joe Maddon was allowed to leave the club after the 2019 season. Ross retired in 2016 after spending two seasons with the Cubs, culminating with a Game 7 home run off of Andrew Miller in the 2016 World Series.
Ross, along with Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta and first base coach Will Venable, is one of numerous candidates the Cubs have interviewed during the managerial search. The Cubs have also spoken to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and former catcher Joe Girardi, who is now the favorite to replace Kapler in Philadelphia.
Espada emerged later in the process for the Cubs, but the Astros’ bench coach turned some heads in the team’s front office and was invited in for a second interview recently.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs and other MLB teams will be allowed by the league to make announcements on off days during the World Series, meaning that an announcement on a new manager could come as soon as Thursday when the Washington Nationals and Astros are traveling between Houston and the nation’s capital.