The last several weeks for the Houston Astros franchise has been a whirlwind. From the sanctions coming down from the MLB to the subsequent firings of manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, the uncertainty about the future direction of the franchise has hung around like a dark cloud.
The first steps in moving on from the sign-stealing controversy became official on Wednesday as the Astros agreed to a deal with veteran skipper Dusty Baker. The news was first reported by Bob Nightengale.
Baker, 70, was chosen among a field of nine managerial candidates, including veterans Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Jeff Banister and former Astros pitcher Brad Ausmus.
Over the course of his 22-year career as a manager, he was a part of the rise of the San Francisco Giants in the early 2000s, helping them get to the World Series in 2002. He followed that up with an NLCS appearance in 2003 that was derailed by the infamous Steve Bartman incident.
This will also be Baker’s first foray into the American League with his previous two stops being with the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals. He will be introduced officially as the new manager on Thursday afternoon.