Astros Rumors: Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter Interested in Replacing AJ Hinch

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker talks during a news conference after Game 4 of baseball's National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Chicago. The Nationals won 5-0. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Houston Astros may be reeling from punishments stemming from MLB's sign-stealing investigation, but there are reportedly multiple former managers who would like an opportunity to lead the team in the near future.ย 

According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros are looking at veteran former managers like Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, and Buck Showalter, as well as ex-Rangers boss Jeff Bannister, Cubs third base coach Will Venable, and Dodgers special assistant Raul Ibanez.

The managing spot is open because AJ Hinch was fired after the punishments were handed down. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, who was also fired, were suspended one year as part of the punishments that included a $5 million fine and the stripping of the team's first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

While the loss of so many draft picks will hurt down the line, it's not exactly a surprise so many candidates are interested in the chance to compete for a World Series in the immediate future.

The Astros have advanced to at least the American League Championship Series in each of the last three years and won the 2017 Fall Classic. They have a number of talented players remaining in Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke and will be on the short list of contenders in 2020.

Nightengale suggested the interviewing portion of the managing search will begin "soon."

Baker is a three-time National League Manager of the Year who managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals in the past. He won a NL pennant in 2002 with the Giants and reached the playoffs his last four years as a manager (2012 and 2013 with Cincinnati and 2016 and 2017 with Washington).

Showalter is a three-time American League Manager of the Year who managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles in the past.

Gibbons had two different stints with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2004-08 and 2013-18, reaching the playoffs twice.

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