Houston Astros

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Astros' Joe Espada for manager role

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Astros' Joe Espada for manager role

Go ahead and add another name to the candidacy list to take over the Giants' managerial role after Bruce Bochy announced his retirement following the 2019 season.

San Francisco reportedly has asked the Houston Astros for permission to speak to Joe Espada, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Espada also is a candidate for the Cubs' managing job.

Espada, 44, currently is the bench coach for the Astros. His background before joining Houston includes a stint with the New York Yankees as the special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman in 2014, where he later was named the team's third-base coach. Before that, he was the third base coach for the Miami Marlins.  

He also coached the Puerto Rican team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 

Espada was drafted by the Oakland A's in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft and spent a decade playing internationally and made it through to Triple-A.

[RELATED: Astros call Giants' Cole 'West Coast guy']

He joins a list of potential Giants managers that includes Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay ... to name a few.

As Heyman points out, this is a younger group of candidates, which appears to be the theme across the board for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

There surely will be many more names to come before we know who will man the Giants' dugout in 2020.

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

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USATSI

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

The Astros are trying to soak in every start Gerrit Cole makes for them. As Houston sits two wins from reaching the World Series, they know their staff ace likely will be pitching for a different team next season. 

Cole is expected to possibly sign a record-breaking contract as a free agent this upcoming offseason. His teammates have an idea of which part of the country he will be packing his bags for, too. 

"We know he wants to be a West Coast guy," Astros outfielder Josh Reddick told Bleacher Report's Scott Miller

Cole, 29, grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA before the Pirates took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Could his future be in Northern California, though? 

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cole are brothers-in-law. ESPN's Jeff Passan also listed San Francisco in late August as one of nine destinations that are "positioned and motivated to explore adding Cole."

The three-time All-Star also told Miller that he has been to six or seven Giants postseason games in the past, including taking his grandfather to two World Series games in 2012.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has some big decisions to make regarding the roster this offseason. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent, but Cole certainly would be an upgrade. The right-hander is a front-runner to win the AL Cy Young award this year after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts over 212 1/3 innings. 

But Cole could be in line to sign a contract worth well over $200 million this winter. 

[RELATED: Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager]

The Giants rode star pitchers like Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to three championships this decade. Adding Cole to start off the next decade could be the perfect addition. A healthy Johnny Cueto is returning to San Francisco's rotation next season, along with Jeff Samardzija -- whose 3.52 ERA this year was his lowest since 2014. 

San Francisco will have plenty of competition if they do pursue Cole, especially from Southern California teams in the Angels and Dodgers. He certainly will be sought after from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond.

MLB playoff schedule 2019: Dates, times, TV channels for postseason bracket

MLB playoff schedule 2019: Dates, times, TV channels for postseason bracket

After a wild Major League Baseball season that included a record-setting number of home runs, the regular season has finally come to a close. With October baseball upon us, there are only 10 teams left standing who all hope to raise the Commissioner's Trophy when all is said and done. 

The A's won 97 games and will be playing in the AL Wild Card Game for the second straight season. After losing the do-or-die game to the Yankees last year, Bob Melvin's club will host the Rays on Wednesday at the Oakland Coliseum. The Astros, Yankees and Twins round out the American League field as division winners.

In the National League, the Giants, despite a red-hot July stretch that put them briefly in playoff contention, struggled down the stretch and finished 77-85 in Bruce Bochy's final year as manager. The rival Dodgers won the NL West for the seventh straight season as they hope to end a thirty-year World Series drought. The Cardinals and Braves won the NL Central and NL East, respectively, while the Brewers and Nationals will play in the NL Wild Card Game.

Here is the entire playoff bracket:

NL WILD CARD GAME: Brewers vs. Nationals
Tuesday, Oct. 1: 5:08 p.m. PT at Washington (TV: TBS)

AL WILD CARD GAME: Rays vs. A's
Wednesday, Oct. 2: 5:09 p.m. PT at Oakland (TV: ESPN)

NL DIVISION SERIES: BREWERS-NATIONALS WINNER VS. DODGERS
Game 1: Thursday, Oct. 3, 5:37 p.m. PT, at Los Angeles (TV: TBS)
Game 2: Friday, Oct. 4, 6:37 p.m. PT at Los Angeles (TV: TBS)
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 6, time TBD, at Milwaukee/Washington (TV: TBS)
Game 4: Monday, Oct. 7, time TBD, at Milwaukee/Washington (TV: TBS -- if necessary)
Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 9, time TBD, at Los Angeles (TV: TBS -- if necessary)

NL DIVISION SERIES: CARDINALS VS. BRAVES
Game 1: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2:02 p.m. PT, at Atlanta (TV: TBS)
Game 2: Friday, Oct. 4, 1:37 p.m. PT, at Atlanta (TV: TBS)
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 6, time TBD, at St. Louis (TV: TBS)
Game 4: Monday, Oct. 7, time TBD, at St. Louis (TV: TBS -- if necessary)
Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 9, time TBD, at Atlanta (TV: TBS -- if necessary)

AL DIVISION SERIES: A'S-RAYS WINNER VS. ASTROS
Game 1: Friday, Oct. 4, 11:05 a.m. PT, at Houston (TV: FS1)
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 5, 6:07 p.m. PT, at Houston (TV: FS1)
Game 3: Monday, Oct. 7, time TBD, at Oakland or Tampa Bay (TV: FS1)
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 8, time TBD, at Oakland or Tampa Bay (TV: FS1 -- if necessary)
Game 5: Thursday, Oct. 10, time TBD, at Houston (TV: FS1 -- if necessary)

AL DIVISION SERIES: TWINS VS. YANKEES
Game 1: Friday, Oct. 4, 4:07 p.m. PT, at New York (TV: FS1)
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 5, 2:07 p.m. PT, at New York (TV: FS1)
Game 3: Monday, Oct. 7, time TBD, at Minnesota (TV: FS1)
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 8, time TBD, at Minnesota (TV: FS1 -- if necessary)
Game 5: Thursday, Oct. 10, time TBD, at New York (TV: FS1 -- if necessary)

NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Game 1: NL Lower Seed at NL Higher Seed on Friday, Oct. 11, time TBD
Game 2: NL Lower Seed at NL Higher Seed on Saturday, Oct. 12, time TBD
Game 3: NL Higher Seed at NL Lower Seed on Monday, Oct. 14, time TBD
Game 4: NL Higher Seed at NL Lower Seed on Tuesday, Oct. 15, time TBD
Game 5: NL Higher Seed at NL Lower Seed on Wednesday, Oct. 16, time TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: NL Lower Seed at NL Higher Seed on Friday, Oct. 18, time TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: NL Lower Seed at NL Higher Seed on Saturday, Oct. 19, time TBD (if necessary)

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Game 1: AL Lower Seed at AL Higher Seed on Saturday, Oct. 12, time TBD
Game 2: AL Lower Seed at AL Higher Seed on Sunday, Oct. 13, time TBD
Game 3: AL Higher Seed at AL Lower Seed on Tuesday, Oct. 15, time TBD
Game 4: AL Higher Seed at AL Lower Seed on Wednesday, Oct. 16, time TBD
Game 5: AL Higher Seed at AL Lower Seed on Thursday, Oct. 17, time TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: AL Lower Seed at AL Higher Seed on Saturday, Oct. 19, time TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: AL Lower Seed at AL Higher Seed on Sunday, Oct. 20, time TBD (if necessary)

WORLD SERIES
Game 1: Lower Seed at Higher Seed on Tuesday, Oct. 22, time TBD
Game 2: Lower Seed at Higher Seed on Wednesday, Oct. 23, time TBD
Game 3: Higher Seed at Lower Seed on Friday, Oct. 25, time TBD
Game 4: Higher Seed at Lower Seed on Saturday, Oct. 26, time TBD
Game 5: Higher Seed at Lower Seed on Sunday, Oct. 27, time TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: Lower Seed at Higher Seed on Tuesday, Oct. 29, time TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Lower Seed at Higher Seed on Wednesday, Oct. 30, time TBD (if necessary)