The Houston Astros are planning to hire bench coach Joe Espada as their manager, according to multiple reports.
Espada will take over for Dusty Baker, who retired in October after the Astros were eliminated by the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. Baker managed 26 MLB seasons and led the Astros to a World Series championship in 2022.
Espada, 48, played nine seasons of minor league baseball from 1996-2006. After retiring as a player, he worked as a coach for the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees before joining the Astros in 2018.
Espada has long been expected to be a candidate for the position upon Baker’s retirement. He was reportedly a finalist for the Marlins job last season before they hired Skip Schumaker.