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 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 right away. And if they are trying another Maholm signing to try and flip him at the dead...