Dusty Baker leaves the game as the first MLB manager to lead five different teams to the postseason after 26 seasons of managing. Credit: AP

In an expected move, Astros manager Dusty Baker has told team owner Jim Crane that he is retiring, according to USA Today.

Baker, 74, is expected to formally announce his retirement during a press conference on Thursday. There had been heavy speculation the future Hall of Famer would retire after this season regardless of whether the defending World Series champion Astros won it all again.

The Astros were ousted from the postseason earlier this week in Game Seven of the ALCS against the Texas Rangers.

Baker, who has been an MLB manager for 26 seasons, leaves the Astros bench after four winning seasons in Houston. Crane hired Baker in January 2020 after a sign-stealing scandal ranked the organization and gave Crane no choice but to fire A.J. Hinch.

Baker, who had been out of baseball, instantly gave the Astros credibility and respect during a time when most of baseball was down on the Astros. Under Baker’s leadership, the Astros also continued to be one of the best American League teams.

The Astros advanced to four ALCS, won two pennants and captured the World Series title last season under Baker.

Baker, who also spent 19 seasons in MLB as an All-Star outfielder, leaves management as one of the most successful clubhouse leaders in MLB history. He won 2,183 games as a manager, which is seven-best of all-time, and had 57 postseason victories, which is the fourth best in MLB history.

Baker also exits the game as the only manager to lead five different clubs to the postseason. He will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in three years and is largely expected to go in on the first ballot. When he does enter the Hall of Fame, Baker will be the first African American manager to make it to Cooperstown.

According to the USA Today story, Baker hopes to remain in baseball in an advisory capacity whether it’s with the Astros or another big league team.

I've been with The Defender since August 2019. I'm a long-time sportswriter who has covered everything from college sports to the Texans and Rockets during my 16 years of living in the Houston market....