It appears increasingly possible that Gabe Kapler, who the Phillies fired last Thursday, will work somewhere in baseball in 2020.
The latest is that Kapler, per Bruce Levine of 670 The Score, will be interviewed for the Chicago Cubs managerial vacancy this week. Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada will also be interviewed by the Cubs according to Levine.
Over the weekend, Jon Heyman of RADIO.COM reported that the San Francisco Giants will interview Kapler. That news wasn’t surprising. Farhan Zaidi, the Giants president of baseball operations, was the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager from 2014-2018. Prior to his two-season stint as Phillies manager, Kapler was the Dodgers director of player development. Kapler had major supporters and detractors in Los Angeles, but Zaidi was a big fan of Kapler, who is 44 years old.
There are some connections between Kapler and the Cubs. He played for the Boston Red Sox for parts of four seasons between 2003 and 2006. He was a member of the 2004 team, which won the World Series, ending an 86-year curse. One of the architects of that team was general manager Theo Epstein, who has been the Cubs president of baseball operations since October of 2011. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer worked in the front office of the Red Sox during much of Epstein’s tenure as well. Also worth noting is that while injured in 2007, Kapler managed the Red Sox Single-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive. From that sense, interest in speaking to Kapler makes sense. After all, Epstein was one of the first executives to embrace analytics.
That said, Heyman was among those to suggest that there were some in Philadelphia that thought the Phillies clubhouse was too loose under Kapler. Similar criticisms were levied against Joe Maddon, who did help the Cubs to win their first World Series in 108 years in 2016 but was dismissed after the 2019 season. Kapler may not prove to fit the profile of the type of manager the Cubs are looking for at this time.
Mark Loretta, the Cubs bench coach in 2019, was willing to admit that the team needed more structure to be successful. Loretta, who had a 15-year playing career, has long been seen as a likely replacement for Maddon.
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