The Nationals are prepared to discuss a new deal with manager Dusty Baker this offseason, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports. As of yet, however, the Washington organization has yet to engage in any chatter with the skipper’s reps.
Baker, 67, guided the Nats to a 95-win season and a National League East title, the organization’s third in the last five years. But D.C. fell agonizingly shy of making it out of the divisional round yet again, falling to the Dodgers in five games.
Having signed only a two-year pact when he took the helm before the 2016 season, Baker already occupies lame-duck status. It seems only natural for the sides to come together on a new deal, then; as Castillo explains, all parties have expressed pleasure with what appeared to be a mutually beneficial relationship. Just how long Baker hopes to keep the gig isn’t known, but it appears the team will be receptive to an extension.
Managerial contracts have never been a straightforward matter for the Nats, however. Even Baker’s hiring came with some drama, rising out of the ashes of the club’s dalliance with Bud Black. MASNsports.com’s Pete Kerzel recently discussed that recent history in assessing Baker’s current situation; his piece, too, is well worth a read.
Assuming that the sides are able to see eye to eye on the term of a contract — presumably, Baker won’t be trying to achieve a particularly lengthy pact — it’ll remain necessary to work out a new salary. The current pact promises the veteran skipper $4MM over its two years, with $3MM worth of incentives also available.