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Will the Nationals extend Dusty Baker?

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Nationals manager Dusty Baker is heading into the final year of his two-year contract, signed back in November 2015. The veteran skipper led the Nationals to a first-place finish at 95-67, though the club was defeated in five games in the NLDS by the Dodgers.

Baker’s future is uncertain, but MASN’s Pete Kerzel expects the Nationals to extend Baker’s contract by the time spring training begins in mid-February. He does not think the Nationals will allow Baker the option to walk away considering the success the team had in his first year at the helm.

As Kerzel notes, the Nationals don’t have any obvious in-house successors in the event Baker were to leave, which only makes it seem like a no-brainer to keep him around. The Nationals’ players, a mix of youth and veterans, seemed to enjoy playing for him.

Mets are interested in Rick Porcello

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Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are interested in free agent pitcher Rick Porcello and have been speaking to his agent.

Porcello is coming off a pretty dreadful 2019 season in which he went 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA in 32 starts. That ERA was the worst in the majors among qualified starters. He’s also pretty homer happy. But (a) he’s durable; and (b) a change of scenery and a move to a more pitcher-friendly division and park might do him some good, so it’s not like he’s a bad guy for the Mets to be looking at. He’s only going to be 31 next season and he’s just a year removed from a decent season.

There are far worse bounceback candidates.