Ahora que Dusty Baker officially announcing his retirement as manager after four years at the helm of Houston, the Astros will begin searching for his replacement. The last two Houston managers – AJ Hinch and Baker – won World Series titles and the club’s competitive window remains wide, considering they have a large portion of the 2023 roster.
This is the second year in a row that the Astros’ front office has taken a drastic step in its operational leadership. Former general manager James Click did not re-sign with the club after the Astros won the World Series last year and Dana Brown was hired in January to replace him. Now, Brown has his first opportunity to hire a manager, in a process that team owner Jim Crane described as “seamless.”
“We’re not there yet,” Crane said Thursday. “Dana has done very well so far. The offices are going well. So I don’t think it will take us long to find someone who is right for us.”
Here, 10 possible candidates to fill the Astros’ next manager position:
Ausmus, the Astros’ longtime catcher and former Angels and Tigers manager, was a finalist for the Astros’ general manager and manager jobs, so he could once again be part of the group. Ausmus, 54, is a close friend of Jeff Bagwell; baseball operations advisor and the club’s board of directors.
Banister, who was also interviewed by the Astros before hiring Baker, won two AL West division titles as manager of the Rangers (2015-2018) and is now a bench coach for the D-backs, who have competed in World Series against Texas.
The Puerto Rican is a popular figure among the players and could facilitate the transition, as he has been part of the Astros’ coaching staff since 2018, serving as bench coach alongside Hinch and Baker. Espada, 48, has interviewed for several managerial positions over the years but has yet to get his chance. But if the Astros are looking for someone who can provide the continuity factor, then the Puerto Rican could be the one.
Green, 46, is the former manager of the Padres, where he had a record of 274-366 between 2016 and 2019. He spent the last four years as a bench coach with the Cubs. Green has reportedly interviewed for the Guardians manager position, a position Terry Francona held until this year.
Kotsay, 47, managed the A’s the last two seasons, losing 214 games with a depleted Oakland roster. He interviewed with the Astros before hiring Baker and was a strong candidate. He is under contract for one more year in Oakland.
The Rays bench coach is no stranger to the Astros organization, where he spent 20 seasons as a coach and manager in the minor leagues. The 46-year-old Dominican coached players such as José Altuve and Alex Bregman. In addition, he has experience as a pilot in the Dominican Republic and in the last World Baseball Classic, managing his country’s team.
The Venezuelan has been with the Astros his entire life, having been with the organization for the past 25 years. López, 46, is now the Astros’ first base coach and has been the club’s farm leader, the first manager Altuve has had. He was also a leader in the last World Baseball Classic, leading Venezuela to the quarterfinals.
Venable, 40, also interviewed with the Astros in 2020 and remains a popular name in baseball circles. He was an associate manager of a Rangers team that was in the World Series.
Weiss, a 14-year Major League veteran who was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1988 with the A’s, spent four seasons as manager of the Rockies (2013-2016) and averaged 71 wins. every time. Now, at the age of 59, he has been Atlanta’s bench coach since 2018.
Young is the first base coach for the Braves. During that time he played 15 years in the Major Leagues with the Rockies, Dodgers, Rangers, Padres, Cubs, Brewers and Giants. He was a baserunning instructor for the Astros and also served as first base coach for the D-backs and Rockies.