HOUSTON – Dusty Baker has officially signed on to be the next manager for the Houston Astros, the team announced in a press release Wednesday.
Baker, 70, becomes the nineteenth manager in franchise history. Baker will be formally introduced Thursday at a press conference.
“Throughout his successful career, Dusty has embodied the qualities that we were looking for in a manager,” Crane said in a press release. “He’s a winner, and more importantly, a strong leader who has earned the respect of not only his players, but of virtually everyone that he has touched in baseball. We’re extremely excited to name Dusty as the new leader of our ballclub.”
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” Baker said in the press release. “This is a great ballclub with outstanding players that know how to win. I applaud Jim Crane for the leadership he has shown in recent weeks and look forward to working with him and the players to bring a championship to the City of Houston.”
It was reported Tuesday that Baker was in talks with the team and was working to finalizing an agreement.
The 70-year-old Baker becomes the oldest manager in the big leagues. He takes over from AJ Hinch, who was fired Jan. 13 just an hour after he was suspended for the season by Major League Baseball for his role in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.
The hiring of Baker is a sign the Astros want to bring an old-school mentality and stern presence to a franchise reeling from the dismissal of Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Baker has 22 years of managerial experience, starting in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants.
A three-time National League Manager of the Year, Baker last managed the Washington Nationals, who let him go after a 97-65 season in 2017.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report.