Marlins 3B coach Joe Espada will manage in winter league

Mike Ehrmann - Getty Images

Miami Marlins third base coach Joe Espada will coach in the Puerto Rico winter league.

Miami Marlins third base coach Joe Espada reached an agreement this week to manage the Atenienses de Manati, a winter league team in Puerto Rico.

The league is trying to bounce back from financial problems that forced it to cancel its 2007 season. Last year, the league played with four teams; this year it will have six.

"It is cool. They're just trying to get things going again," said Espada, 37, a native of Santurce who lives in Jupiter.

Espada's team will be comprised mostly of native players to save costs, according to the Palm Beach Post. However, major leaguers Ivan DeJesus Jr., Ruben Gotay and Jesus Feliciano are expected to play for Manati.

Espada has been the Marlins' third base coach since 2010. He hopes managing in the winter league will help lead him to a managing job in Major League Baseball down the road.

"Part of my long-term plan is to be a major league manager but I need to gain some experience and I'm thrilled I'm getting a chance to do that in Puerto Rico,'' he said.

Espada was a 10-year minor leaguer from 1996-2005. Espada, along with the rest of the Marlins coaching staff, hasn't been notified by owners if it will return to the team in 2013.

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