Jeff Baker Rumors


Rangers Sign Jeff Baker

The Rangers announced that they have agreed to terms with infielder/outfielder Jeff Baker while officially announcing the signing of left-handed pitcher Nate Robertson.  Baker is represented by Scott Boras

Baker, 31, hit .248/.287/.405 with four homers in 68 games for the Cubs, Tigers, and Braves last season.  The veteran drew interest from the Yankees earlier this winter as they were looking to add a right-handed bat to the mix in the outfield.  Baker owns a career slash line of .296/.344/.498 against left-handers.



AL East Links: Yankees, Baker, Orioles

Here's the latest from the AL East as the Red Sox move closer to acquiring Joel Hanrahan...



Cubs Acquire Marcelo Carreno

The Cubs acquired minor league right-hander Marcelo Carreno and cash considerations from the Tigers to complete the August trade involving Jeff Baker, the Tigers announced (on Twitter). The Tigers acquired Baker from the Cubs for two players to be named later on August 5th only to send him to Atlanta for another PTBNL four weeks later.

Carreno, 21, just completed his fifth season in the Tigers organization. He spent the 2012 campaign with Class A West Michigan, posting a 3.23 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 139 1/3 innings over the course of 27 starts.



Braves Acquire Jeff Baker From Tigers

The Tigers announced that they have traded Jeff Baker to the Braves for a player to be named later.  The 31-year-old was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for Avisail Garcia on the roster.

Baker appeared in 15 games for the Tigers this month after he was acquired from the Cubs.  The veteran has played second base and all four corner positions this year, while posting a line of .254/.293/.408 in 181 total plate appearances.  For his career, Baker boasts a strong batting line of .298/.346/.505 against left-handers.



Tigers Designate Jeff Baker For Assignment

The Tigers have designated Jeff Baker for assignment, according to the team's director of media relations, Brian Britten (on Twitter). Detroit recalled Avisail Garcia from Double-A Erie in a related move.

Baker, a right-handed hitter, appeared in 15 games for the Tigers after they acquired him from the Cubs on August 5th. The 31-year-old has played second base and all four corner positions this year, posting a line of .254/.293/.408 in 181 total plate appearances. A noted lefty masher, Baker has a career batting line of .298/.346/.505 against southpaws. He's a potential fit for the Giants, who are looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder.



Tigers Acquire Jeff Baker From Cubs

The Tigers announced that they have acquired Jeff Baker from the Cubs in exchange for two players to be named later.  The Cubs will receive the two PTBNLs either on or before October 31st.

Baker, 31, has a .269/.306/.448 slash line in 144 plate appearances on the year.  The veteran has seen time at first base, second base, and the corner outfield positions this season and also has experience at third.

As for the Cubs, they will presumably bolster their farm system with this trade as they look to 2013 and beyond.  Theo Epstein & Co. continued the youth movement today with the promotions of Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson.



Quick Hits: Strasburg, Rangers, Hunter, Cubs

Cody Ross was a walkoff hero for the Red Sox tonight, slugging a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off White Sox closer Addison Reed to give Boston a 3-1 win in the Battle Of The Sox.  Here are some links from around the majors as we wrap up a busy Thursday of trade rumors...

  • The Nationals have decided on to shut down Stephen Strasburg at some point this season though it may not be at the 160-inning limit, GM Mike Rizzo tells ESPN's Pedro Gomez.  "There is no magic number," Rizzo said. "It will be the eye test. (Manager) Davey (Johnson) won't decide and ownership won't decide. It will be the general manager, and that's me."
  • The Rangers have "a very small list" of pitchers on their wish list and may be out of the pitching market entirely if Cole Hamels signs an extension with the Phillies, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • If Torii Hunter is really willing to take a big discount to re-sign with the Angels, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Halos could save money by keeping Hunter and Peter Bourjos at low costs and then non-tender or trade Kendrys Morales to free up more money to pursue pitching.
  • The Cubs are unlikely to make a major free agent signing this winter, as Theo Epstein tells CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney that the team isn't far enough along in its rebuilding process.  “Free agency’s definitely a nice way to add talent to an organization without giving up talent," Epstein said. "But you cannot make an organization that way. And we have a lot of steps ahead of us that we need to take care of before we’re in a position to add a finishing piece or two through free agency.”
  • Beyond their big-name talent, the Cubs are also getting calls about right-handed hitting bench players Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson, reports Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).
  • The Twins led all teams in draft spending this year, as Baseball America's Jim Callis breaks down how much each club spent on their draft picks.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America recaps the week's minor league transactions.
  • Dodgers president Stan Kasten hinted that his team isn't likely to splurge in a blockbuster trade deadline deal, saying any trade the Dodgers make will "have to be governed by reason" and "make sense long term," he tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told reporters (including MLB.com's Joe Frisaro) that his team is running out of time to prove they're contenders before the Fish could be forced to sell some pieces at the deadline.  “In terms of decision making, I don’t how that’s going to go,” Beinfest said. “I really don’t. We need to win games here to make sure we’re on the periphery of even thinking about getting into things....You believe in your talent and hope we get hot. I think that’s where we are right now. But every day that goes by, it gets tougher and tougher to do that.” 



Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

  • The Reds announced that they also avoided arbitration with Homer Bailey and Paul Janish (Twitter link). Reds reliever Bill Bray announced that his agents at Octagon finished his deal.
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Nate Schierholtz on a $1.3MM deal that includes $150K in incentives, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets. The Giants avoided arbitration with reliever Santiago Casilla, agreeing to a $2.2MM deal with $200K in incentives, tweets Enrique Rojas.  MLBTR had projected the ACES client for a $1.9MM salary.
  • The Pirates avoided arbitration with Evan Meek , agreeing to a one-year $875K deal that includes $25K in performance bonuses, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tweets.  The Pirates avoided arbitration with starter Jeff Karstens, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, on a deal worth $3.1MM.  MLBTR projected the Moye Sports Associates client for $2.8MM. 
  • The Brewers avoided arbitration with reliever Kameron Loe, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  Loe obtained $2.175MM, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • The Nationals have avoided arbitration with reliever Tyler Clippard, according to their Twitter feed.  The Nationals also announced they've avoided arbitration with pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Tom Gorzelanny.  Both are represented by SFX.  Zimmermann received $2.3MM, tweets Heyman, and Gorzelanny gets $2.7MM.
  • The Yankees announced pitchers Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson have avoided arbitration.  Jon Heyman has Chamberlain around $1.675MM and Robertson at $1.6MM with $25K in incentives.
  • The Red Sox announced an agreement with infielder Mike Aviles.  It's worth $1.2MM, tweets John Tomase of the Boston Herald.
  • The Athletics announced agreements with their final two arbitration eligible players: pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine.  McCarthy will make $4.275MM, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  She says Devine gets $737,500 plus incentives.
  • The Royals announced arbitration deals with pitchers Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino, and Jonathan Sanchez.  Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star pegs Hochevar at $3.51MM, Paulino at $1.9MM, and Sanchez at $5.6MM with $200K in performance bonuses.
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with reliever Edward Mujica, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
  • The Mariners avoided arbitration with reliever Shawn Kelley, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns.  The deal is worth $600K.
  • The Rays announced they've avoided arbitration with reliever Burke Badenhop on a deal worth $1.075MM.  He gets $25K for 50 games pitched, MLBTR has learned.  Badenhop is represented by ACES.
  • The Rockies avoided arbitration with outfielder Dexter Fowler for $2.35MM, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Tigers announced they've avoided arbitration with pitcher Max Scherzer and outfielder Delmon Young.  Jon Heyman pegs the Scherzer deal at $3.75MM and Young at $6.75MM.  The Tigers also avoided arbitration with utility man Don Kelly, agreeing to a $900K deal, tweets Heyman.  Matt Swartz projected $800K for the LSW Baseball client.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with starter J.A. Happ on a deal worth $2.35MM, tweets MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith.
  • The Phillies avoided arbitration with infielder Wilson Valdez, tweets MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.  The team announced the value at $930K.  Given their deal with Cole Hamels, only Hunter Pence remains.
  • The Indians avoided arbitration with reliever Joe Smith and third baseman Jack Hannahan, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  Smith gets $1.75MM and Hannahan gets $1.135MM.
  • The Mets avoided arbitration with outfielder Andres Torres on a deal worth $2.7MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.  Matt Swartz had projected $2.5MM for the ACES client.  The Mets also avoided arbitration with reliever Ramon Ramirez, agreeing to a $2.65MM deal, tweets ESPN's Enrique Rojas.  The ACES client was projected by MLBTR for a $2.3MM salary.  The Mets finished up by announcing an agreement with Manny Acosta.  Andy McCullough pegs that one at $875K.
  • The Blue Jays announced they've avoided arbitration with pitcher Carlos Villanueva on a $2.2775MM deal.  Villanueva is represented by SFX.
  • The Royals avoided arbitration with outfielder Mitch Maier, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  The deal is worth $865K with a potential $10K bonus for 100 plate appearances, tweets Dutton's colleague Rustin Dodd.  Maier is represented by Eric Sobocinski.
  • The Twins avoided arbitration with reliever Glen Perkins, agreeing to a $1.55MM deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Matt Swartz had projected $1.5MM for the SFX client.
  • The Rangers avoided arbitration with reliever Mark Lowe, agreeing to a $1.7MM deal, tweets Evan Grant of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  MLBTR's Matt Swartz had projected the Jeff Frye client at $1.6MM.  The team also avoided arbitration with outfielder David Murphy, tweets Anthony Andro, on a deal worth $3.625MM.


  • Theo Epstein Links: Compensation, Baker, Quade

    The Red Sox and Cubs began negotiations today about the compensation package required to finalize Theo Epstein's move to Chicago, and WEEI's John Dennis reports that the talks have gotten off to a slow start.  The Cubs just want to send money as compensation, while the Red Sox are looking for prospects instead.  This seemingly represents a shift in Boston's stance from just yesterday, when SI's Jon Heyman reported the Sox preferred cash.

    Here's the latest on those talks and a few other Theo-related items...

    • Negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox "are moving along at a snail's pace," according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.  "There's no such thing as a timetable for these transactions," but there doesn't appear to be anything major that would keep Epstein from eventually joining the Cubs.
    • Also from Levine, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has presented a list of players to interim GM Randy Bush, scouting director Tim Wilken and director of player personnel Oneri Fleita.  The front office members will report back to Ricketts indicating which of the players they would be comfortable trading to Boston as compensation.
    • "The Red Sox like utilityman Jeff Baker," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, though Baker alone wouldn't be suitable compensation.  Cafardo says the Sox would also "love" to send John Lackey to the Cubs but unsurprisingly, "that is also a long shot."  Cafardo lists a few of the Cubs' notable prospects who could conceivably go to the Sox, though I'd personally be surprised if Chicago would part with top minor leaguers like Brett Jackson or Matt Szczur.
    • In addition to taking some Boston front office members with him to Chicago, Epstein may also take some of the Red Sox medical staff, tweets Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe.
    • Mike Quade says he wasn't consulted about the Cubs' pursuit of Epstein, the incumbent manager tells ESPN Chicago, though he has no hard feelings about not being a part of the GM search.
    • With no deal finalized yet, it was "business as usual" for Epstein, pending new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and other front office staffers today, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston
    • Edes notes that the Red Sox gave Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes permission to take two front office members each when Hoyer and Byrnes left Boston for the GM jobs in San Diego and Arizona, respectively.  Edes believes Mike Hazen, Boston's vice president of player development and amateur scouting, is "untouchable" both because the Red Sox brass his contribution to the club's minor league system and because the Cubs already have Wilken performing similar duties.



    Red Sox Not Pursuing Anyone Aggressively Right Now

    The Red Sox are "not pursuing anyone aggressively right now," a source familiar with the team's thinking told WEEI's Alex Speier.  Instead, the team is currently trying to determine which internal solutions will work.  We've heard the Red Sox named as one of the most aggressive suitors for Carlos Beltran, but that may not be the case.

    The Sox are still taking their normal approach of "inquiring about anyone who may make an appreciable difference to the team," in the words of the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.  Cafardo says the Red Sox have inquired on Beltran, Ubaldo Jimenez, Felix Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Baker, Michael Cuddyer, Ty Wigginton, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, Jeremy Guthrie, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson, Ryan Spilborghs, Mike Adams, and others.  The team needs include starting pitching, a reliever, an outfielder, and a shortstop, but the Red Sox may prefer internal options in many cases.









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