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Castellini: Reds want Baker back

Castellini: Reds want Baker back

Castellini: Reds want Baker back
DENVER -- Reds manager Dusty Baker should not be concerned about his current contractual situation. Bob Castellini, the team's president and chief executive, wants Baker around for a long time.

"I would like to see Dusty Baker as a member of our organization for many years to come," Castellini told MLB.com on Wednesday, as two days of quarterly Owners' Meetings began here at the Four Seasons Hotel. "That's it."

Baker's current contract expires at the end of the season, and Castellini declined to say when he will sit down to talk about an extension with the veteran baseball man who has the Reds in first place in the National League Central by six games over the Pirates. At 70-46, they have the second-best record in Major League Baseball behind the surprising Nationals.

"I'm sure that will be mutual," Castellini said about a time and a place to have those discussions.

Until now, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has said those talks would wait until the end of the season, but circumstances seem to have changed based on the club's ongoing success.

"He's done a heck of a job. A heck of a job, you bet. He's a heck of a guy," Castellini said. "I'd like to see him add a World Series win with us and go into the Hall of Fame as a Red."

Baker is in the second year of two-year contract extension, which he signed after the Reds made the playoffs in 2010 for the first time in 15 seasons. They were swept in a best-of-five NL Division Series by the Phillies, which began with Roy Halladay tossing only the second no-hitter in postseason history.

Reds haven't won a playoff since Game 3 of the 1995 NLDS in which they swept the Dodgers.

Baker, now 63, signed a three-year deal to manage the Reds prior to the 2008 season. His record with Cincinnati is 392-372 heading into Wednesday's action. Baker previously managed the Giants and Cubs.

He has a .524 winning percentage during his 19 seasons as a manager, and his 2002 Giants club lost the World Series in seven games to the Angels in his only Fall Classic appearance on the bench.

"The only thing missing on my résumé is a championship, and that will come," Baker told USA Today in a story that ran in Wednesday's edition.

"Everybody likes security, but I'm not afraid of the unknown," Baker said about his contract situation.

What's now known is how Castellini is unequivocally supportive of him.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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