Earlier this week Reds president Bob Castellini said he “would like to see Dusty Baker as a member of our organization for many years to come.”
However, yesterday the impending free agent manager told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he hasn’t had any contract talks with the team since spring training.
Baker, who’s finishing up a two-year contract, said “it was nice to hear that [what Castellini said], but in meantime I’ve got work to do. The same work I had to do five months ago.”
Cincinnati has the second-best record in the league at 71-47, leading the NL Central by 6.0 games over Pittsburgh and 7.0 games over St. Louis after the Reds went just 79-83 last season.
Fay writes that Baker promised during the winter that he wouldn’t talk about his contract status during the season and has followed through for the most part, but also says “it’s clear that working as quasi-lame duck has put a bit of a chip on Baker’s shoulder.”
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.