Dusty Baker signed a 2-year/$4M deal for 2016-17 in November 2015 and he led the Washington Nationals to 95 wins and a postseason appearances in his first season in D.C.
Asked this Spring if there was any talk of an extension, the veteran skipper said he would, of course, like to have the security that comes with a longer deal.
“I mean, everybody likes security,” Baker said, as quoted by Washington Times’ writer Thom Loverro.
“Everybody likes to know what their future is going to be even though it doesn’t amount to much. But I’m very confident that we’d get things worked out. You’d like to do it sooner rather than later because I don’t want to be a distraction to my team.”
The two sides didn’t get anything done this Spring, and according to what Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes wrote in a Q&A with readers this week, there hasn’t been any talk about an extension.
“As of my last check, and they are frequent, the sides were not talking about a deal,” she wrote.
“But that should be interpreted as a sign of animosity. It’s not. I think that if Dusty Baker wants to be back in 2018 — and it seems that he does — Mike Rizzo would be happy to have him. They certainly differ in their opinions of certain situations, but seem to get along without any trouble and with a healthy mutual respect.
“So I see absolutely no problems there or in the clubhouse, where Baker certainly still has respect.”
Rizzo himself is only signed through 2018, after Nationals exercised an option for the 2017-18 seasons last May.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal mentioned both the Nationals’ GM and manager’s contract situations in this weekend’s Full Count video.
“The Nationals’ owners seemingly are in no rush to extend the contracts of manager Dusty Baker and GM Mike Rizzo. Baker’s 2-year/$4M contract is up after this year.
“Rizzo is earning $2.5M per year through the end of next season. Now, those prices might only rise if the Nats go deep in the postseason. Think about it, they won 95 games last year under Baker. They’re on a pace for 104 wins this season, and Rizzo’s trading record is close to impeccable.”
Baker just added to his resume with his 1,800th win as a manager on Friday night in Oakland, and as the Nationals noted in their pregame notes Saturday, “he’s the 16th manager in Major League history to cross the 1,800-win mark.”
“[And 12] of the first 15 managers who reached that milestone before Baker are already in the Hall of Fame.”
Would the Nationals’ ownership be better off locking both Baker and Rizzo up for the near future before a potential postseason run?
Baker talked about wanting to keep going when he was asked what the latest career milestone meant to him.
“That means I’ve been around a long time,” Baker said, “also means that I went rather quickly, you know. I won my first won one in a Giants uniform. Then I was just thinking yesterday, I played my last game of my playing career here in Oakland, so things go full circle.
“Now you think about, okay, because my son he’s like, ‘Dad, that’s a lot of wins.’ And Chris Speier and all the coaches are like, ‘Man, that’s an awful lot of wins,’ and then now you start thinking about well, you might as well continue and go for 2,000.”
Will he keep adding to his win total in Washington after this season?