Twins, Baker Working On New Contract

The Twins declined their $9.25MM option on Scott Baker earlier today, but the right-hander tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the two sides have made progress on a new contract:

"We’re talking, and obviously I think there’s a mutual feeling that I want to be back, and they want me back," Baker said. "But it has to make sense for both parties, and we’re just not there yet. There’s a lot to consider. I’ll just say, we’re not close, but we’re definitely closer than when it started."

Baker also told Christensen that he isn't discouraged by the fact that the team elected not to exercise his option. The 31-year-old is recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent this past spring.

A second-round selection of the Twins in 2003, Baker has spent his whole career in Minnesota. In that time, he's pitched to a 4.15 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 958 innings. He broke out in 2011 with a 3.14 ERA and upped his strikeouts to a strong 8.2 per nine innings.

In my view, an incentive-laden one-year deal with a lower base salary and perhaps a vesting option would seem to make sense for both sides. If Baker decides to talk with other teams, this will be his first time exploring the free agent market. Back in March 2009, Baker and the Twins agreed to a four-year extension that guaranteed the Oklahoma State University product $15.25MM.

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2 Comments on "Twins, Baker Working On New Contract"

2 years 10 months ago

Give Baker a one-year deal with a $3M base and incentives that kick in either after 10 starts or 50 innings or so. The incentives can boost the value to something like $7M, and a vesting option can kick in at 150 innings and pay him $10M-ish in 2014.

I hope something gets worked out and Baker is able to regain his usual form. He’s a tremendously underrated pitcher and it’d be nice to see what he could do with an outfield of Span and Revere behind him instead of elephants like Delmon, Cuddyer, and Kubel.

Granted, Span could easily be traded…

Hector S.
2 years 9 months ago

There are other options if you want to roll the dice on a pitcher coming off of an injury! Give Baker Blackburns Jersey and he can stay. Take Blackburn deep sea fishing where he should stay!