|M's add RHP Baker on low-risk deal|
by Rick Randall of SeattleClubhouse.com, January 29, 2014 at 7:33 pm ET
Scott Baker Profile
The Seattle Mariners announced late this morning that they had reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent right-hander Scott Baker. The former 2nd round pick of the Minnesota Twins missed all of 2012 and most of 2013 due to Tommy John Surgery that he underwent in April of 2012, only coming back to the mound for 11 pro starts (eight in the minors and three in the majors for the Cubs) near the end of last year.
The 32-year-old Baker has a career record of 63 wins and 48 losses in 166 games (162 starts) with a 4.14 ERA (3.98 FIP) and 1.26 WHIP since breaking into the major leagues with the Twins back in 2005. He's made 30 or more appearances just once in his career (2009) and has been prone to allowing the long ball (1.2 HR/9 career) but he's also posted improving strikeout and walk numbers over his last several full seasons.
Baker has been pretty fragile throughout his career, making six separate trips to the disabled list, and that's why Seattle could get him on the cheap (reported by Chris Cotillo as $1m base, up to $4.25m total if incentives are met), but he has good stuff and a decent track record of success. And since he made three major league starts at the tail end of last year and is nearly two full years removed from his surgery, he isn't exactly a reclamation project. Baker is a fly ball pitcher (34.0% ground ball rate career) who throws a fastball, slider and changeup. He figures to enter camp with a shot to win a rotation spot for the Mariners who were said to be looking for a veteran option to counter the youth in the back-end of their starters.