Despite falling short in the World Series, it was another great season for the Houston Astros franchise. Two of the pillars of the Astros’ 2021 season were manager Dusty Baker and first baseman Yuli Gurriel. The pair were among those who could potentially have been leaving Houston in the offseason. However, they are both returning as Baker and the team agreed to a one-year extension and Gurriel has had his $8 million option for 2022 picked up.
Baker Gets Another Chance
Baker was originally brought to Houston to be a calming force amidst the scrutiny that the Astros were facing after the 2017 sign-stealing scandal was revealed. The 72-year old has led the team to postseason appearances in each of his two years as manager. Houston was 95-67 in the regular season in 2021 and Baker took them to their third World Series appearance in the past five seasons.
Overall in his managerial career, Baker has 1,987 regular season wins, which ranks 12th in Major League Baseball history. He has taken five different teams to the postseason. He’s still looking for his first World Series title as manager however. 2022 will be his 25th season as a manager at the Major League level.
After a career year in many respects, the Astros have picked up the 2022 option for one of their anchors in Gurriel. The 37-year old is a Gold Glove finalist after a stellar 2021 season that saw him win his first career batting title. His all-around ability and veteran leadership made for an easy decision regarding his $8 million 2022 option.
Across six Major League seasons, Gurriel has a career slashline of .293/.337/.467. He is one of the few remaining players who were a part of the Astros 2017 World Series winning team.
The Astros still have a number of decisions to make regarding the fate of a few free agents. These free agents include Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke among others.
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