MLB notebook: Nationals select Baker as manager

By The Sports Xchange   |   Nov. 4, 2015 at 12:33 AM
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The Washington Nationals have a manager, but it turns out top candidate Bud Black was just passing through, with Dusty Baker set to be formally introduced as new skipper this week.

Black agreed to become manager when general manager Mike Rizzo offered the job last Wednesday. But when negotiations began and terms and finances fell short of Black's expectations, Rizzo turned to his other finalist. Baker, the former San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds manager, agreed to a two-year deal and will replace Matt Williams.

Baker last managed in 2013, and he was fired three days after the Reds lost the National League wild-card game to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

---The New York Mets reached agreement on a two-year contract extension with manager Terry Collins.

The New York Daily News reported that Collins will receive a salary increase as part of the new deal. His previous contract included a club option for 2016.

Collins, 66, guided the Mets to the National League pennant and a trip to the World Series, which they lost in five games to the Kansas City Royals. In five years as Mets manager, Collins has a 394-416 record, but his teams never finished with a winning record in New York before this season. The Mets won the NL East with a 90-72 record in 2015 and reached the playoffs for the first time in nine years.

---Throngs of fans greeted the Kansas City Royals as the city celebrated their first World Series championship in 30 years.

The crowds were so massive that some fans left because they could not get a glimpse of the team, which wrapped up the Series in five games on Sunday night in New York with a 7-2 win over the Mets in 12 innings. The 2.3-mile victory parade began downtown at the Power & Light District and ended with a rally at Union Statium. Fans dressed in Royals lined the route to greet players and team officials with thank-you signs.

Royals manager Ned Yost hoisted the World Series trophy for spectators to see when the caravan turned into Union Station and the players appeared overwhelmed by the turnout.

---Right-hander Clay Buchholz, the longest-tenured starter on the pitching staff of the Boston Red Sox, will be back with the team in 2016.

Buchholz had his option for 2016 picked up by the Red Sox and will earn $13 million next season.

Buchholz had a 7-7 record with a 3.26 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 18 starts in 2015. Injuries derailed another season for Buchholz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 11 with a right elbow strain and missed the remainder of the season.

---The Milwaukee Brewers picked up the $8 million club option on first baseman Adam Lind's contract for 2016.

Lind batted .277 with 20 home runs, 32 doubles and 87 RBIs while committing four errors in 149 games in 2015. The 32-year-old was acquired a year ago from the Toronto Blue Jays.

---The Houston Astros declined a $3.5 million option on right-hander Chad Qualls for 2016 and opted for a $250,000 buyout.

The 37-year-old veteran pitched in 60 games for the Astros in 2015 and posted a 3-5 record with four saves and a 4.38 ERA, walking just nine batters and striking out 46 in 49 1/3 innings. But he was left off the postseason roster after struggling late in the season.

In 12 major league seasons, Qualls has a 49-47 record with 74 saves and a 3.74 ERA. He began his career with the Astros in 2004 and returned 10 years later, posted 19 saves for Houston in 2014.

---Three minor league players were suspended Tuesday for violations of the drug prevention and treatment program.

Steve Borkowski, a right-hander in the Atlanta Braves' organization, received a 68-game suspension without the pay after a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug. Adron Chambers, an outfielder in the Chicago Cubs' minor league system, was suspended for 50 games without pay for a second positive test for a drug of abuse and Alvaro Diaz, a right-hander with the San Francisco Giants, was handed a 25-game suspension without pay after a violation of the drug program.

---Former major league outfielder Dave Roberts interviewed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for their managerial opening, Fox Sports reported.

Roberts has worked for the San Diego Padres since 2011 as part of their coaching staff after ending his 10-year playing career in 2004. The 43-year-old Roberts played for the Dodgers from 2002 to 2004 during his 10-year career in the major leagues. He also was with Boston in 2004 when they won the World Series title.

According to the Fox report, the Dodgers are not close to naming a replacement for Don Mattingly after the two sides parted ways on Oct. 22. Mattingly was since named the new manager of the Miami Marlins. Last week, the Dodgers also reportedly interviewed Nebraska coach and former major league outfielder Darin Erstad for the job.

---The Toronto Blue Jays exercised 2016 contract options on right fielder Jose Bautista, designated hitter-first baseman Edwin Encarnacion and right-hander R.A. Dickey.

The Blue Jays declined a $3 million option on infielder Maicer Izturis, giving him a $1 million buyout instead after an injury-riddled season.

The 35-year-old Bautista batted .250 with 40 home runs and 114 RBIs during the regular season in 2015. Encarnacion, 32, hit .277 with 39 homers and 111 RBIs in 146 games this year. Dickey, 41, posted an 11-11 record with a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts this past season.

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