The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Dusty Baker three days after his team lost the National League wild-card game to Pittsburgh.
Baker, 64, managed the Reds into the postseason in three of the last four years, but the team did not win a playoff series. He had one season remaining on a two-year contract signed a year ago.
The Associated Press reports:
A person familiar with the situation said that the Reds will announce Friday that Baker will be replaced. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there had not yet been an official announcement. It was not immediately clear whether Baker was fired or chose to step down.
The Reds finished 90-72 this season, third in the NL Central, behind the Cardinals and the Pirates. A five-game losing streak at the end of the regular season dropped the wild-card Reds to the last seed in the NL playoffs and forced a trip to Pittsburgh, where they lost 6-2 on Tuesday.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that Reds players were told of the move on Thursday night and, while they like Baker, most believe the team made the right move.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the leading candidate to replace Baker will be Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, who also is on the Mariners’ list of managerial candidates.
Other possibilities figure to include Reds' Triple-A manager Jim Riggleman, who walked out on the Nationals in the middle of the 2011 season, and David Bell, who managed four seasons in the Reds’ organization before serving as the Cubs’ third-base coach last season.
Baker's 20 years as an MLB manager includes stints with the Giants, Cubs and Reds. The three-time NL Manager of the Year won five division titles.