Astros manager rumors: Dusty Baker joins Buck Showalter, John Gibbons as candidates for vacant job

The Houston Astros aren’t wasting any time when it comes to finding their replacement for former manager A.J. Hinch, who was ousted in the wake of the team’s sign-stealing scandal. After the club was reportedly connected to former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and former Baltimore Orioles skipper Buck Showalter for the position, another name emerged Sunday. Former Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker was set to meet with the club Monday to discuss their managerial vacancy, according to’s Brian McTaggart.

Astros owner Jim Crane announced the firings of Hinch along with general manager Jeff Luhlow following the completion of Major League Baseball’s investigation and punishment toward the Astros for their high-tech sign-stealing scandal. With less than a month until spring training begins, the clock is ticking for the Astros to find Hinch’s permanent replacement.

Baker, 70, spent time as a manager for the San Francisco Giants (1993-2002), Chicago Cubs (2003-2006) and Cincinnati Reds (2008-2013) before joining the Nationals for a two-year stint for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The three-time NL Manager of the Year (1993, 1997, 2000) won a NL pennant with the Giants in 2002 and has nine total playoff appearances.

“I’m just hoping to bring some love back to baseball, some integrity to the game, and I think I got relative respect in the game,” Baker told McTaggart. “There’s something missing. I need a [World Series] championship, and I’d like to bring a championship to the city of Houston.”

The Astros, Red Sox and Mets are searching for new managers less than a month before spring training as Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran were also let go for their roles in Houston’s scandal. Baker has been linked to the job in Queens as well.

With the Cubs, Baker led the team to its first division title in 14 years, and with the Reds, he led the club to their playoff appearance in 15 years. During his time with Washington, Baker led the Nats to an NL East title before losing to the Dodgers in the NLDS. The following season, the Nats took home the NL East title again before losing to the Cubs in the NLDS. Overall, Baker has a managerial record of 1,863-1,636 (.536) and a 23-32 postseason record.

Some of the other reported candidates for the Astros job include Cubs third-base coach Will Venable, current Astros bench coach Joe Espada, former Rangers manager Jeff Banister and Dodgers special assistant Raul Ibanez. Bruce Bochy’s name was also mentioned, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the longtime Giants skipper does not plan to pursue any of the available managing jobs this winter. Bochy retired following the 2019 season.

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