The Houston Astros will bring back manager Dusty Baker to a one-year contract, the team announced Friday.
Baker, 72, led the Astros to the World Series in 2021, after taking over the team before the 2020 season.
“He’s done a great job this past year,” said owner Jim Crane. “Great in the locker room, great with the fans, great with the media. We are very, very excited to have him back.”
Baker has led five different teams to the postseason and came within two wins of winning his first World Series as manager this year. He ranks 12th in Major League Baseball history with 1,987 career wins and could move up to ninth with 54 wins in 2022, beating Bruce Bochy (2,003), Leo Durocher (2,008) and Walter Alston (2,040).
“I look forward to being a part of this organization and this city,” Baker said. “I have some tremendous ties here and I have some unfinished business to take care of. But we are close. We are getting better and better every year.”
When asked if he was excited to be back, Baker replied, “As my son asks me all the time, ‘Dad, are you excited?’ Yes, but I don’t jump and show my enthusiasm. I feel my enthusiasm on the inside. “
Baker led the Astros to the American League Championship Series in 2020 before winning the American League West in 2021. Houston beat the Chicago White Sox in the division series and the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. the American League before losing to the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.
He took control as a firm hand after the Astros fired AJ Hinch over the team’s signal theft scandal that rocked baseball in 2019. Baker said he believes the team has gotten through those dark days.
“I talked to a lot of players,” Baker said. “Some guys are interested in coming here and maybe they weren’t interested in coming here before, so I think our future is very bright.”
The Astros indicated they could give a qualified offer to pitcher Justin Verlander, who missed the season after Tommy John surgery. And they’re monitoring right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. as he continues to rest after experiencing pain in his forearm during the postseason.
As for free agency star Carlos Correa, the team plans to speak with him again after the parties were unable to reach a long-term agreement before the 2021 season.
“I guess you’re looking for a number [contrato]”Crane said with a smile when asked what those conversations would be like.” We know where he’s looking. We’re going to sit down and do our best, something that fits our formula and hopefully fits their formula. “