SAN FRANCISCO -- For the last week, it appeared the Giants were down to three candidates to succeed Bruce Bochy as the team's next manager.
Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, current Astros bench coach Joe Espada and current Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol all remained in the mix before the calendar turned to November.
Kapler and Espada are still under consideration, but a new report from the San Francisco Chronicle indicates that Grifol is longer under consideration while Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro is still in the running.
Quatraro, 45, is a New York native who spent the 2019 season as the Rays' bench coach after leaving the Indians' organization to serve as the Rays' third base coach in 2018. Quatraro's previous titles include assistant hitting coach for the Indians (2014-2017), minor league hitting coordinator for the Rays (2010-2013) and various jobs managing minor league teams in the Rays organizations in the mid-to-late-2000s.
On Friday, the Bay Area News Group reported that Espada was in San Francisco for his second in-person interview with president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who is leading the Giants' search. A source confirmed that Kapler and Grifol were two of the finalists for the job, but that left open the possibility the Giants were still considering other candidates.
The Chronicle report says Grifol is now out of the running, but it remains possible that Quatraro could outlast Kapler and Espada and be named the franchise's fifth manager since since 1986.
The Giants are one of only two teams (Pittsburgh Pirates) that have yet to name a manager for the 2020 season and it's unclear when San Francisco's search will conclude. The organization does not appear to be in danger of losing out on the chance to hire any of its preferred candidates because the Pirates plan to hire a general manager before continuing their search for a new manager.
Zaidi is also interested in hiring a general manager this offseason and until Wednesday, there was no significant news regarding the Giants' search. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Giants are considering Cubs assistant general manager Scott Harris for the role, but it's not known whether Zaidi would prefer to install a general manager before hiring a field manager.
Harris is a native of Redwood City who spent five seasons as Chicago's director of baseball operations before he was promoted to his current role.
Regardless of who the Giants hire as their next general manager, it is expected that Zaidi will continue to drive the organization's personnel decisions and maintain control over the 25-man and 40-man rosters. A general manager will work under the president of baseball operations and is expected to boost the overall knowledge and capabilities of a front office that has undergone a significant transformation over the last calendar year.
During his end-of-season press conference, Zaidi said it might be possible for the Giants to have finalists for the general manager position meet with finalists for the field manager position to gauge what kind of working relationships might strengthen the Giants the most.
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