Dusty Baker’s future with the Houston Astros came a bit more into focus Tuesday when the club announced that it was picking up his team option for the 2021 season. The veteran skipper was hired last offseason after owner Jim Crane fired former manager AJ Hinch for his role in the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing scandal. Houston has gotten off to a 3-1 start under Baker’s guide.
Meanwhile, the man who replaced Baker at his previous position in Washington still has yet to find out what his job security looks like beyond this season. Davey Martinez was signed by the Nationals to take them to the World Series after the team bowed out in the NLDS twice with Baker at the helm. He did exactly that last year, working around a hodgepodge bullpen to help D.C. claim its first title since 1924.
Yet both Martinez and GM Mike Rizzo, whose contract expires after this season, are lame ducks as the Nationals wade their way through a trying 60-game season in the midst of a pandemic. Washington has stumbled out to a 1-3 start, but that would hardly be a reason for the Lerner family to grow reluctant about handing either of them an extension.
Baker, 71, has managed for five different ballclubs across 23 seasons, racking up 1,866 career wins and appearing in one World Series. If he can pick up 134 more wins over the next two years, he’ll become the 12th manager in MLB history to win at least 2,000 games.
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