Houston Astros pick up manager Dusty Baker’s 2021 option

The Houston Astros have picked up the option for the 2021 season on manager Dusty Baker’s contract.

Baker was hired in January to replace AJ Hinch, who was fired by the team after he and general manager Jeff Luhnow were initially suspended for one year by Major League Baseball for their roles in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal. Luhnow also was fired.

The 71-year-old Baker is in his 23rd year as a manager after starting in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants. A three-time National League Manager of the Year, Baker came to the Astros after managing the Washington Nationals, who let him go after a 97-65 season in 2017.

Baker is thrilled to get another year on his contract after managing a season more than once without a deal for the next year.

“I’ve been a lame-duck manager probably four or five times,” Baker said. “I was one of the lamest ducks walking around. So it feels pretty good not to be a lame duck, and this is the best that I’ve been treated in quite a while.”

Baker’s 1,865 career wins are first among active managers and rank 15th in major league history.

“Dusty has been a perfect fit for our ballclub,” general manager James Click said. “His knowledge of the game and experience have been invaluable to us in his first few months with the club. We’re excited to see him in an Astros uniform again next year.”

The Astros also picked up the contract options for next season for third-base coach Gary Pettis and pitching coach Brent Strom, who were both retained after Hinch’s dismissal.