The Giants are one of two teams -- the other being the Pirates -- still without a manager, and they have now narrowed the field to three finalists. Astros bench coach Joe Espada, recently-fired Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and Rays bench coach Matt Quartraro are the candidates left standing in the mix, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Giants president of operations Farhan Zaidi has reportedly interviewed at least 10 possible managers and these three are the last candidates in the process.
Kapler might seem a funny choice, given his up-and-down tenure with the Phillies, but he really didn't have much pitching to deal with last season and they were banged up pretty well. Plus, keep in mind Kapler was a finalist for the Dodgers job that Dave Roberts got when Zaidi was in the L.A. front office. Also, second-chance managers have worked out well in the past in some places, such as Terry Francona with the Red Sox and Joe Torre with the Yankees (it was actually his fourth chance). Not that the Giants have the talent of those teams, but Kapler could grow on the job as the Giants look to rebuild or even reload.
Espada, 44, has been the Astros bench coach for the past two seasons, serving as the right hand man to excellent manager A.J. Hinch. He was also a finalist for the Cubs manager job.
Quartraro was the Rays' third-base coach in 2018 and then was promoted to bench coach for the 2019 season. As with Espada, Quartraro has been serving under an excellent and well-respected manager in Kevin Cash and for a front office that is very forward-thinking, much like Zaidi is.
Whoever gets the job will be the Giants' first manager other than Bruce Bochy since 2006 and has some pretty large shoes to fill. Bochy won three World Series titles with the Giants and will forever be a legend in the Bay Area. He also is a lot more old school than someone like Zaidi prefers, so there's a changing of the guard going on here.