2) LA Angels manager candidate in the playoffs: Joe Espada
Joe Espada has been a popular name in managerial searches in recent years, and for good reason. The 48-year-old has been serving as the Astros bench coach since 2018 and has enjoyed tons of success under two terrific managers in A.J. Hinch and Dusty Baker.
Espada has been coaching for a while now as he had jobs with both the Marlins and Yankees before joining Houston, and has accomplished just about everything except finally netting that big league managerial gig.
Outside of his work in the majors, Espada has managed in the Puerto Rican league and also coached for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Again, he has loads of experience but just lacks that one MLB job.
This sounds a bit familiar to Phil Nevin who also had a lot of coaching experience before becoming a manager for the first time with the Angels, so I get if fans have reservations about hiring Espada. The success he's had in Houston while learning a lot from two great managers makes him a very intriguing candidate to me. He'd be coming from an organization that preaches analytics in Houston but also has watched a manager who uses his own eyes to make decisions. A mix of both can work quite well.
Eventually Espada will be scooped up and I wouldn't be shocked if the Angels gave him serious consideration.