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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  • we can only hope...

    The things you have to do to pay for James Shields contract.

    Rob G. 41 min 19 sec ago view
  • I wonder if they'll have to make use of the Guaranteed Rate logo, which is a giant red arrow pointing downward.
    https://www.guaranteedrate.com

    Brick 46 min 59 sec ago view
  • unsurprisingly, the White Sox continue a tradition of stupid stuff....

    @DannyEcker BREAKING: Guaranteed Rate has purchased naming rights to U.S. Cellular Field. Will be known as Guaranteed Rate Field thru 2030.

    Rob G. 49 min 55 sec ago view
  • that was a very kind 3rd strike to hendricks to end the 3rd.

    man on 3rd, 0 outs and got 2 pop-ups and a K...Maddux-lite indeed

    Rob G. 59 min 52 sec ago view
  • how did Fowler not score from 2nd on a double?

    by making bad decisions...

    Rob G. 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • he held on a popup (in case he needed to tag up) that bounced off the wall then jogged to 3rd. there were 0 outs so that probably played into the casual nature of how he played it.

    crunch 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • Not watching -- how did Fowler not score from 2nd on a double?

    billybucks 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • uh, Fowler?

    Rob G. 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Well I assume Ross is going to catch Lester in the playoffs, and it looks like Contreras is going to catch everyone else. I could see the Cubs keeping three catchers on the playoff roster as it would give them flexibility and Montero would have a left handed bat with some pop (at least historically) off the bench.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • Aren't Montero and Ross already in a tie for third catcher?

    Charlie 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • Higher than Chris Perez's mailbox.

    John Beasley 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • Contreras starting at catcher for a day game after he caught the night before. What do people think the odds are that Montero is left off the post-season roster, or is at best the third catcher?

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • Does he project as a starter, a relief pitcher, or is it too soon to tell?

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 58 min ago view
  • Rizzo getting a well deserved breather today with Bryant at 1B. Soler back in lineup batting cleanup and playing LF, otherwise all of the all-stars batting 1-5 again (what a luxury)

    Eric S 4 hours 5 min ago view
  • in his last 11 innings, he has 21K, 6BB, 4 hits and one ER. Nice!

    billybucks 4 hours 31 min ago view
  • Yes!!!

    Thanks crunch!!

    It's mesmerizing

    jacos 9 hours 6 min ago view