Espada is expected to interview on Monday, during an off day for the American League Championship Series between the Astros and the New York Yankees.
Kapler, 44, was fired by the Phillies on Thursday after two seasons and a 161-163 record. He played for the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2006, when current Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer held similar positions for that franchise.
Kapler has also been linked to the San Francisco Giants, who are looking for a replacement for the retired Bruce Bochy. Kapler worked with Giants team president Farhan Zaidi when both were with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Espada, 44, has been the bench coach for the Astros for the past two years. Before that, he was a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and also served as the team's third-base coach,
Espada is the brother-in-law of Brandon Hyde, who worked in Chicago before becoming manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Espada and Hyde, whose wives are sisters, were employed by the Miami Marlins together in 2010 and 2011.
Kapler and Espada bring the number of managerial candidates to six. David Ross, Joe Girardi, Mark Loretta and Will Venable have already discussed the job with the team.
The Cubs could make a decision on who replaces Joe Maddon soon after the latest candidates interview, as one source indicated last week that Kapler and Espada could be the final candidates to discuss the job with the team.
Industry sources have indicated for some time that Ross is the front-runner for the job.