Report: Mets Likely To Consider Astros Bench Coach As Manager If Callaway Is Fired


Mickey Callaway still has a job, but one name has already emerged as a possible successor to the Mets manager. 

ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday that if the Mets decide to make a change at manager, Astros bench coach Joe Espada is "likely to be considered."

If the Mets change managers, one of the candidates likely to be considered is Astros coach Joe Espada.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 24, 2019

Espada, 44, was hired as the Astros' bench coach after the 2017 season, replacing Alex Cora, who was named the Red Sox's manager. Prior to joining the Astros, Espada spent four seasons with the Yankees — one as a special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman before moving to third-base coach for three years. The Puerto Rico native started his coaching career in the Marlins organization in 2006.

Espada was a second-round draft pick by the Oakland A's in 1996. The middle infielder spent 10 seasons playing in the minors but never reached the big leagues.

Astros bench coach Joe EspadaBob Levey/Getty Images

There is one obvious link between Espada and the Mets. Espada's current boss, Astros manager A.J. Hinch, is a friend and former Stanford teammate of Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Callaway is wrapping up his second season with the Mets. He has often been criticized for his head-scratching in-game decisions. But under his leadership, he rallied the team back into serious playoff contention after it fell 11 games below .500 shortly after the All-Star break. However, now five games out of the wild card with six games to play, the Mets are extreme long shots to qualify for the postseason.

Van Wagenen inherited Callaway when he was hired after the 2018 season, and the GM could be looking to install his own choice at manager this offseason. The Mets have not yet publicly indicated whether Callaway will return.