Dusty Baker guided the Houston Astros to the American League pennant in 2021. Signs are pointing to Baker being back with the Astros in 2022 to try to get Houston not only to the World Series, but also to bring the championship back to the Lone Star State.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and confirmed by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Astros are in the final process of putting together a contract for the 72-year-old Baker. While terms (including length of the contract) aren’t known, getting Baker signed and in place for 2022 will help bring stability to a Houston offseason that has plenty of questions, including the future of Carlos Correa (especially after an interesting quote), Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke, among others.
The Houston Astros need Dusty Baker back as manager in 2022
Baker was brought in before the 2020 season on a one-year deal (with a team option for 2021 that was exercised) and immediately became the oldest MLB skipper. In January of 2020, he was brought in to Houston less than three weeks after the Astros parted ways with manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow following an investigation that members of the Astros used electronic means to steal signs during the 2017 World Series and 2018 season.
With the Astros in disarray at the top, Baker came into the organization as a steadying force and led the team during the challenges of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign as well as facing the brunt of anger from opposing fans when they returned to the stands in 2021.
Still, despite all of the challenges of the past two campaigns, Baker has pieced together a 124-98 mark in his two seasons in Houston.
If the Houston deal comes through as expected, next year will be Baker’s 25th season as a manager. With 1,987 career wins, Baker will be within a milestone (2,000 victories) that only 11 other managers in MLB history have reached.
Houston will have some tough decisions to make with its personnel this offseason. Bringing back Dusty Baker should not be one of them.