After firing A.J. Hinch as part of the fallout from the sign-stealing scandal, the Astros are in need of a new manager. On that front, a source tells Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston that the Astros will interview former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons for the position. According to Berman, the interview will take place on Thursday, which means the Astros are wasting little time in beginning their search for Hinch’s permanent replacement.
Gibbons, 57, is a Texas native who managed the Blue Jays on two different occasions. Gibbons first guided the Blue Jays from 2004-08, and over that span he led them to a pair of winning seasons. His second stint in Toronto, from 2013-18, was more successful, as he managed the Blue Jays to a division title in 2015 and then a wild card berth in 2016. In each of those years, Gibbons’ Jays advanced to the ALCS. Overall, Gibbons has a managerial record of 793-798 (.501) across parts of 11 seasons, all with Toronto.
As for other candidates,’s Brian McTaggart on Wednesday reported that the Astros are also expected to consider current bench coach Joe Espada for the position, as well as Bruce Bochy, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker — three of the most decorated and successful managers of their era. Other candidates include former Rangers manager Jeff Banister, Cubs third base coach Will Venable and Dodgers special assistant Raul Ibanez. The 44-year-old Espada figures to be a strong candidate. In addition to having familiarity with the current Houston roster, Espada interviewed for multiple managerial vacancies earlier this offseason. It should be noted that Espada was not Houston’s bench coach until after the 2017 season, which means the implementation of the “banging the trash can” sign-stealing system preceded his time with the Astros.