The euphoria of Detroit's stunning 10-8 comeback win over Cleveland in the 10th inning Sunday partially
hid a move the Tigers made that had ripple effects in the team's clubhouse.
Detroit announced just at game time it was acquiring utility man Jeff Baker from the Chicago Cubs in
return for two as-yet unnamed players.
The Tigers are hopeful Baker can do for them what Ryan Raburn has been unable to -- provide some sock
against left-handed pitchers.
And since Baker plays essentially the same positions -- second, third, first (which Raburn has not
played) and both corner outfield positions -- it probably means Raburn's days with the Tigers have come to
"He's a right-handed bat, somebody we've been looking for that you can play versus left-handed pitching,
in particular," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "He's hit left-handed pitching well throughout his career. He has
the versatility to play left (field), right, first, second, third. He's a guy for us who we feel is a real
good fit, particularly with how we shape up as a ballclub to face left-handed pitching going forward."
Raburn was placed on the disabled list Sunday, retroactive to Aug. 1, with a right thumb sprain, but
when it heals, a decision will be necessary about his future. He could be optioned to the minors but has
the right to refuse and become a free agent. He could be designated for assignment, or even sent to the
Cubs as one of the players to be named later in the deal for Baker.
The acquisition had a more immediate effect on Danny Worth, though. Worth was brought up Sunday to fill
in for Raburn, starting at second base, then told after the game for the fifth time this season he's being
optioned to Toledo to make room for Baker.
Chicago put Baker on waivers -- nearly all players are placed on waivers at this time of year, to see
who puts in a claim if nothing else -- and Detroit claimed him on Friday. The two teams worked out a deal
early Sunday and announced it around the time the Tigers game against the Cleveland Indians began.
Baker was hitting .275 against left-handed pitching this year and that will probably be his role with
the Tigers, either platoon in left field with Quintin Berry or start against some pitchers Delmon Young has
Over his career, Baker has hit .304 against left-handed pitching.
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