Dusty Baker’s 3-year deal expires at the end of this season, and the Reds have made no indication as to whether or not Baker will be resigned to a new deal.
Since taking over the reins in 2008, Baker is seven-games sub .500 and has finished no better than fourth place in the division.
But an interesting scenario is unfolding this season with the Reds in a tight race against St. Louis for the NL Central title.
Despite a cash-strap payroll and loads of youthful talent, Baker has guided the Reds above expectations.
The offense leads the NL in runs (536) and slugging percentage (.438) while both the starting staff and bullpen rank eighth in the NL in ERA.
The Reds have spent 55 days in first place and lead the division this late in a season for the first time since the last week of the 1999 campaign.
If the Reds do, in fact, win the division it will be difficult for GM Walt Jocketty to deny Baker a contract extension given the skipper is the first to lead the Reds to the post season in 15 years.
But if the Reds falter down the stretch, especially considering the Elias Sports Bureau has ranked Cincinnati with the easiest second-half schedule, Jocketty may very well go with a new leader in 2011, perhaps, spelling the end to Baker’s managing career.
Baker’s Managerial Record:
–Cincinnati – 213-220 (.492)
–Chicago – 322-326 (.497)
10-years, 840-715 (.540)