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.”
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.