Reports vary on the length of the proposed deal, but what we know for sure is that the Reds offered Dusty Baker a contract extension over a month ago and the impending free agent manager has yet to accept or decline.
Here’s what he told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
Sooner or later. Right now, I’m not focusing on me. I’m focused on us and getting to the playoffs. I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it. I’m trying to figure how to win as many games as we can.
Obviously his uncertain long-term status hasn’t hurt the team any, because the Reds are pulling away from the Cardinals in the NL Central, and with a ton of prime manager gigs expected to open up this offseason it’s tough to blame Baker for possibly wanting to hit the open market.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.