Fresh off his first World Series title of his illustrious managerial career, Dusty Baker has confirmed to Houston’s FOX 26’s Mark Berman that he will be returning to the team in 2023 (Twitter link). A deal has yet to be finalized, but Baker told Berman, “I’ll be back, but we’re working on it. It’s that simple.”
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Shortly before Baker’s quote, Astros owner Jim Crane already spoke to Baker and general manager James Click about their future and plans to officially extend contract offers to them for the 2023 season.
Named Houston manager in the aftermath of sanctions imposed by the team’s sign-stealing scandal in 2017, Baker took the reins in a tumultuous situation and has perfectly overseen not just a period of stabilization for the franchise, but a continuing streak. of success. He’s now been in charge of the Astros for three seasons, compiling a 230-154 record in that time, earning a pair of American League pennants and, this weekend alone, adding another World Series title to the book. records.
Baker helped oversee the escape of one of baseball’s best young pitching teams, serving as skipper while Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy all established themselves as quality MLB pitchers – with Valdez , in particular, flourishing to the point that he is expected to finish in the top five in this year’s American League Cy Young voting (although teammate Justin Verlander is the favorite to win the award).
The 2022 season not only brought Baker his first World Series win as a manager, but also saw him eclipse the 2,000 win mark, making him the 12th person to reach that milestone. Baker’s 2,093 managerial wins currently put him ninth all-time, but another Houston go-around will give him the opportunity to target Joe McCarthy (2,125 wins), Bucky Harris (2,158 wins) and Sparky Anderson (2,194). wins) next season. .
Baker would need a 102-win campaign to surpass Anderson and take sixth place on the all-time list, but given the quality of Houston’s core, that’s not an unattainable goal. His Astros just won 106 games in 2022, after all, and the team’s only real-rated free agent is Verlander, who is sure to be a target if and when he declines his player option and returns to the open market.
As for Click, there has been much speculation about his future with the team amid multiple reports of friction between him and Crane. It would be a surprise to see a team move from their top baseball operations manager following a World Series victory, however, so it seems that even if the two sides don’t always agree, Crane will offer Click on whether to return to a new contract for at least the 2023 campaign. This upcoming offer, of course, does not necessarily guarantee that Click will return, but it is nevertheless clear that Crane will at least ostensibly put the ball in the court of its general manager.
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