We’re getting closer to knowing who’s going to steer the ship through the ugly, dark days of the Blue Jays rebuild. Per Shi Davidi, the Jays apparently have narrowed down five finalists for the team’s managerial search.
The identity of the finalists couldn’t be confirmed, although according to multiple industry sources, Joe Espada (the Houston Astros bench coach), David Bell (the San Francisco Giants’ farm director), Rocco Baldelli (the Tampa Bay Rays’ major-league field co-ordinator), and Brandon Hyde (the Chicago Cubs’ bench coach), are believed to be among them.
Since the season ended, the Blue Jays have considered and held phone interviews with a wide array of candidates.
Many of the candidates we speculated about earlier in the month don’t appear to be on the Jays’ shortlist. Canadian Stubby Clapp isn’t there, which is somewhat surprising, Eric Wedge, who many just sort of assumed would get the job isn’t there, and veterans like Joe Girardi, John Farrell, and Buck Schowalter aren’t either.
That said, there is one extra name not mentioned on Davidi’s list. We don’t yet know who the fifth mystery person is, but Jerry Crasnick reported that Sam Fuld, a former player and current *checks notes* major-league player information coordinator for the Phillies, has interviewed for the Blue Jays job. Is he the fifth person on the list? Possibly!
Also, Ken Rosenthal had this tidbit today, so take it for what it’s worth…
Sam Fuld and Rocco Baldelli have made strong impressions on the #BlueJays in their managerial search, sources tell The Athletic. No apparent front-runner; other, unidentified candidates are believed to be just as strongly in the mix.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 16, 2018