Half-Baked

The Cubs have signed RHP Scott Baker for $5.5M, plus $1.5M in incentives. He became a free agent after the Twins declined his $9.5M option for 2013.

The Good: Baker will be playing his age 31 season and has a career 63-48 record and 3.44 K/BB ratio. His career rates are: 7.2 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9. He only costs $5.5M in guaranteed money which is pretty cheap for a starter that threw 170-200 innings in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The Bad: Baker is coming off "surprise" Tommy John surgery last April. He also missed time in 2011. His ERA+ for his career is just 102.

The Judgement: While most pitchers are back on the mound a year later or less after Tommy John surgery, it's my personal and casual observation that it takes a good 2-3 months after that for the pitcher to regain their full control and consistency. We may see some flashes of his old self, but I don't know if we'll see it start after start at the beginning of the season. And if they are attempting another Paul Maholm signing to try and flip him at the deadline, a good first half is a key part of that successful equation. Also, he's pretty damn mediocre before the injury (ERA+ starting from 2007: 101, 122, 100, 91, 129). It's not a lot of money, but this seems more like pitching depth than any type of solid foundation. Regardless of the Cubs likelihood to not be very competitive in 2013, I don't think it's wise to make unwise decisions. Sure the risk is moderate, but it's hard to see where the upside is any greater in this case. And while the Cubs new regime may have their moments of brilliance, they've also misfired on their evaluations as well (points and laughs at picture of Chris Volstad).  So ultimately it's a big old shrug of the shoulders on this one for me.

 

 

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  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 7 hours 16 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 8 hours 8 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 8 hours 41 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 8 hours 51 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 9 hours 1 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 9 hours 10 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 9 hours 25 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 10 hours 30 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 10 hours 32 min ago view
  • "Tommy La Stella (hamstring) will remain on his minor league rehab assignment through at least Friday."

    should be an interesting roster shuffle once these guys trickle back in. i imagine patton or peralta are on the hot seat for la stella's return.

    crunch 10 hours 51 min ago view
  • 6 pitches, 2 run lead.

    neat.

    crunch 12 hours 7 sec ago view
  • So am I. Point remains.

    Old and Blue 21 hours 49 min ago view
  • Not certain why the site has been slowed. Worked much of Wednesday on it and will continue today. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will probably take it offline for a while, but it will be up before the game against the Mets.

    WebAdmin 1 day 5 hours ago view