Dusty Baker taking his time deciding on Reds extension offer

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Not so long ago Dusty Baker was believed to be on the hot seat after back-to-back losing seasons, but now the veteran manager is taking his sweet time deciding whether or not to accept the Reds’ contract extension offer.
Baker’s current contract expires after this season and with the Reds in first place at 72-53 he may be interested in seeing what kind of other offers are available on the open market as a free agent this winter.
Or maybe he’s just holding out in order to force the Reds into offering more than a one-year extension. General manager Walt Jocketty declined to discuss the situation yesterday and Baker said merely “we just started talking.”
Because of Baker’s history as a player and manager on the West Coast the Associated Press speculates that he could be an option to replace Joe Torre with the Dodgers and there are likely to be several other prominent openings this offseason.
Not only are the Reds on track for their first playoff appearance since 1995, with 10 more victories Baker will have his first winning season as a manager since 2004.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.