Posted November 13, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
Scott Baker wants to establish that he can still be an effective pitcher after having elbow surgery, and he'll get his chance with the Chicago Cubs.
The 31-year-old righty agreed Tuesday to a one-year deal that guarantees him $5.5 million next season. He could earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses.
''I have every intention of being a competitive pitcher next year right away,'' he said.
Baker became a free agent after the Twins declined their $9.25 million option last month. With the Cubs, he gets a $150,000 bonus for reaching 145 innings and an additional $150,000 for every five innings he pitches after that up to 190.
Baker was 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA with Minnesota from 2005-11. He underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery April 17 and missed last season after being limited to 23 appearances (21 starts) in 2011, but he thinks he'll be ready for the start of spring training.
Several teams had shown interest, including the Twins, but the Cubs made it clear they were serious about him. The move fills one of the openings created by the departure of Justin Germano and Jason Berken.
Baker wasn't able to throw bullpen sessions for teams because his program had him taking time off, but he expects to resume throwing in about mid-to-late December. He thinks he'll be ready for the start of spring training, although he wasn't making any guarantees. But so far, the rehabilitation has gone about as well as possible.
''There are no certainties on rehabs, but we spent quite a bit of time on the medical and on his rehab,'' Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. ''It was described by our medical staff as an ideal Tommy John rehab so far. Everything has gone perfectly so far, and he's really attacked it in an ideal manner.''
He said Baker will probably limited to about five or six innings per start early in the season ''if things go perfectly'' and added: ''We're going to use good judgment every step of the way.''
He described Baker as ''an underrated'' pitcher with ''a very consistent track record of success'' and said the Cubs might want to sign him to an extension.
It's not the first time under Epstein that the Cubs have taken a chance on a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery.
They signed Manny Corpas to a one-year non-guaranteed deal last winter and acquired prospect Arodys Vizcaino from Atlanta in the deal that sent Paul Maholm to the Braves last July. The Cubs had also gambled on Maholm by signing him from Pittsburgh last January after he had to shut it down because of a left shoulder strain, and he was 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA they traded him.
''You'd love to sign pitchers who are 100 percent healthy and have never been hurt, but those animals don't really exist. They're certainly hard to find,'' Epstein said. ''The medical assessment on every pitcher is very important and if you have to sign a pitcher who's coming off of surgery, Tommy John is the one you want him to come off because it's a very predictable rehab with a very strong success rate, upward of 95 percent and even above if you look at more recent information.''
Baker doesn't think he'll have to change his approach because of the injury, although he's anticipating a few bumps along the way.
''I'm going to promise 20 wins and 200 innings,'' he said. ''I think you have to be a realist and you have to realize there are going to be speed bumps along the way, but in saying that, I think you're able to combat those speed bumps and really kind of get to the bottom of the problem or the situation in the first place and kind of allow yourself to work through those things.''
NOTES: Epstein said RHP Matt Garza will go for a scan on his injured pitching elbow this week. He did not pitch after July 21 last season. ... Epstein said 3B Ian Stewart, who missed much of last season with a wrist injury last spring, reported a few days ago that ''everything felt really good.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Name: Scott Baker Position: Starting Pitcher Role: Pretty much slotted in as #3 starter for the moment Bats/Throws: Right/Right Opening Day Age: 31 Uniform Number: He's only ever worn #30 for the Twins, but Travis Wood owns that one right now. What was his best game in the Majors? His best game probably came [...]
There was one surefire, slam dunk move that the Twins were going to make this offseason. To bolster the pitching rotation in 2013. they were going to re-sign Scott Baker, the injured pitcher that missed the 2012 season because of the patented Minnesota Twins surprise Tommy John surgery™, to a team friendly, incentive laden deal and have him and his rebuilt arm strengthen the rotation...
MINNEAPOLIS Former Twins right-hander Scott Baker sign a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Baker became a free agent this offseason after Minnesota declined his 9.25 million club option for the 2013 season. While Baker expressed interested at the end of the 2012 season in possibly staying with the Twins, the two sides decided to part ways.
The 31-year-old Baker...
Free agent starting pitcher Scott Baker has signed a one year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Baker will make $5.5 million in 2013, plus incentives. Baker had spent his entire career with the Twins, missing all of 2012 after Tommy John surgery. Minnesota declined a $9.25 million club option on Baker for 2013, but looked to bring him back at a lower salary.
Baker is the exact type...
The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Scott Baker have agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
Baker, 31, joins the Cubs after pitching all or part of seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2005-11), the club that originally drafted him in the second round of the 2003 Draft. The righthander is 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA (442 ER/958.0 IP) in 163 appearances, all but four as a starter...
Despite missing all of 2012 due to injury, the Chicago Cubs have signed Scott Baker to a one-year deal. The Cubs will try to use Baker to round out their starting rotation.
According to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, Baker will make a base salary of $5.5 million. He also has incentives written into his contract worth up to an additional $1.5 million. Incentive-laced contracts...
A couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Cubs seemingly had a new starting pitcher in Dan Haren while simultaneously dumping the fantastically wild Carlos Marmol at the same time. Angels fans were all kinds of sad face, while Cubbies fans rejoiced. Then something weird happened. The Cubs pulled out. The Cubs. Pulled. Out. Maybe it was something in Danny boys medical record that scared...
According to MLBTR, the Cubs have signed Scott Baker to a 1-year deal. Baker missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing elbow ligament replacement (Tommy John surgery). His last start was August 8th, 2011 and he made 2 appearances in late September that year as a reliever. Prior to his surgery, Baker was quietly putting [...]
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 30 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...
Stop the presses! Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have signed a good player with durability questions to a one year contract. This time, their reclamation project is Scott Baker, who underwent Tommy John surgery last April and missed the entire 2012 season. To secure his services, the Cubs gave him $5.5 million guaranteed, with an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses based...