The Houston Astros are out a general manager, manager, $5 million and first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 because of their sign-stealing scandal.
Dusty Baker still believes it would be an "honor" and a "privilege" to coach the American League West club.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com passed along some of Baker's comments prior to interviewing with the team. Baker said the Astros "always had a good team" that figures to compete again, which is a primary reason he would like to be the next manager.
Brian McTaggart @brianmctaggart
Dusty Baker arrived in Houston on Sunday ahead of his interview with the Astros: “They got a good team. They’ve always had a good team and I’ve enjoyed watching them to play and it would be a privilege and an honor to be the manager of this team.” Much more from Baker: https://t.co/K7Hh9ZJQ6m
While manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year and then fired following the investigation into sign stealing, there is a reason Baker is optimistic about Houston's chances.
The Astros still have Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, among others, and reached two World Series and the American League Championship Series in the last three years. Houston won the 2017 Fall Classic, although the sign-stealing investigation focused largely on that season.
A number of managers have been tied to the opening.
Mark Berman of Fox 26 reported Baker, Joe Espada, Jeff Banister, Buck Showalter, Bruce Bochy, Will Venable and Raul Ibanez were all seen as candidates at one point or another.
As for Baker, he managed the San Francisco Giants (1993-2002), Chicago Cubs (2003-06), Cincinnati Reds (2008-13) and Washington Nationals (2016-17) in the past. He won three National League Manager of the Year awards with the Giants, as well as the NL pennant in 2002, and sports an 840-715 career record.
Baker has led his team to the playoffs nine times but is still missing a World Series crown.