Major League Baseball (MLB) team Houston Astros were found guilty of sign-stealing in their title-winning 2017 campaign and the dominos started falling. MLB suspended Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager AJ Hinch for 12 months, following which Astros relieved the duo from their duties. The Astros are now looking to sign a reputed coach to help them fill their vacancy, Jeff Banister and Eduardo Perez have drawn their attention for the same.
Houston Astros represents an accustomed stomping ground for the 56-year-old Jeff Banister, who attended the University of Houston. He managed the Texas Rangers to a 325-313 record with two AL West championships and a couple of playoff berths from 2015-18. The Rangers went downhill during the last of those seasons, in which Jeff Banister’s side struggled to a 64-88 mark. However, Jeff Banister stayed in the MLB last year as a special assistant in Pittsburgh Pirates’ front office.
According to MLB sources former Rangers manager Jeff Banister has been contacted by the #Astros and will interview with team officials this week as the club continues its search for a new manager.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 21, 2020
Houston Astros is a familiar set up for Eduardo Perez, who served as former manager Bo Porter’s bench coach in 2013 season. He was lined up to serve as Astros’ first base coach in 2014 but eventually opted to step away from that role, citing a desire to spend more time with family. He also spent two years as the hitting coach in Miami and has managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League in addition to managing Team Colombia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Beyond his coaching experience and his 13-year MLB career, Eduardo Perez is famous for his time as a host and analyst on ESPN and for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. While Perez has been on the shortlist of many big-league teams over the past couple of seasons, he has not been on the bench for a major league side for the past 5 years.
For the Astros, who have moved quickly to replace the fired AJ Hinch, Jeff Banister and Eduardo Perez are the latest experienced managers to garner interest from the club. The Astros have already interviewed or will meet with Buck Showalter, Dusty Baker and John Gibbons. They have also shown interest in Oakland Athletic’s quality control coach Mark Kotsay, while also pursuing the likes of Brad Ausmus, Joe Espfada and Will Venable.