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Professional

MLB: Espada gets a second interview with the Cubs for their manager job

Astros bench coach Joe Espada hits a ball during infield practice before game two of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Oct. 13, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images/TNS)
Astros bench coach Joe Espada hits a ball during infield practice before game two of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Oct. 13, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images/TNS)

The Cubs are moving closer to settling on a manager, three weeks after severing ties with Joe Maddon.

Joe Espada, the Houston Astros bench coach, was headed to Chicago on Sunday for his second interview. Espada’s trip was first reported by Mark Feinsand ofMLB.com.

The 44-year-oldinterviewed last week with Cubs executives, and a major-league source said the Cubs have warmed quickly to Espada while downplaying the candidacy of special assistant and former Cubs catcher David Ross.

President Theo Epstein stated at the start of the search that there was no timetable for hiring a manager. Espada is being brought in for his second interview in less than a week, and Major League Baseball prefers that teams withhold making major announcements during the World Series, which starts Tuesday.

Espada, according to several reports, also has attracted interest from the Giants.

He provides a fit with sweeping changes in a Cubs organization that is leaning more heavily on technology, most recently with the promotions of Justin Stone to director of hitting and Craig Breslow as director of pitching.

With the Astros, Espada oversees the multiple shifts the team employs.

Espada also has served as a special assistant with the Yankees, working mostly as a pro scout in 2014 before taking over as third-base coach in 2015-17.

Espada, who is the brother-in-law of Orioles manager and former Cubs coach Brandon Hyde, managed his native Puerto Rico in the winters of 2012-13 (Manati) and 2014-15 (Carolina).

He also was the Marlins third-base coach from 2010-13 and was the third-base coach for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017.

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