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Report: Dusty Baker will return to Astros, but Zack Greinke will not

Dusty Baker, Zack Greinke, Astros

The Houston Astros’ 2021 season ended in disappointment with a 7-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the World Series. While getting to the World Series is no small feat, losing in emphatic fashion at home is a tough pill to swallow.

Now that the season is over, it’s time to look ahead. There were some questions about manager Dusty Baker’s status with the team because his $3 million contract just expired, but Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports Baker will be meeting with Astros owner Jim Crane on Wednesday to discuss a new deal.

The expectation is that Crane will offer Baker an extension and that he will accept it. The length of the deal is in question, though, because general manager James Click’s contract expires after next season. The Astros might want to line up Baker and Click in terms of their contracts.

Baker took over for A.J. Hinch two years ago after the sign-stealing scandal went public. Houston struggled during the shortened 2020 regular season but snuck in the playoffs and reached the ALCS before losing to the Tampa Bay Rays in seven games. The Astros then won 95 games in 2021 and reached the World Series.

While Baker is expected to return to the fold, veteran Zack Greinke will not be back. Greinke reportedly has no plans to retire, but he would prefer to pitch in the National League. The former ace was acquired in 2019 from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was excellent in 2019 but was mediocre in both 2020 and 2021.

In addition to Greinke being on the way out, there are expectations that star shortstop Carlos Correa will be moving on. Correa is looking for a monster contract, and the Astros apparently don’t want to pay him what he’s seeking.