John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the Reds have offered manager Dusty Baker a contract extension.
Baker, in the final season of a three-year deal, wouldn’t say Wednesday whether it is a multi-year offer or just a one-year proposal, but he did acknowledge that he is considering it.
“We’re still evaluating it,” he said. “I’ve got to look at where we’re going, and what I want to do. I’m concentrating on winning, I’ve said that all along. Everything is cool. It will work out.”
The veteran skipper has led the Reds to an impressive 68-51 record this season and an even more impressive 2.5-game lead over the heavily-favored Cardinals in the National League Central. That success has more to do with breakout years by Joey Votto and the entire Cincinnati pitching staff, but Baker must be doing something right. And it only makes sense for him to return for at least the 2011 season.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.