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Marlins, Jeff Baker agree to 2-year deal

    The Marlins and veteran utility infielder Jeff Baker have agreed on a 2-year-deal worth $3.7 million, sources have confirmed. Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com first reported the agreement.

      JeffbakerBaker provides the Marlins with depth off the bench and could be platooned at first base with Garrett Jones, who struggles against left-handers. Baker hit .314 with 10 home runs against southpaws last season for the Texas Rangers.

     The contract agreement calls for Baker to receive $1.6 million this season and $2.1 million in 2015. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported Baker could earn an additional $500,000 per season in bonus incentives.

     Baker, who has spent nine seasons in the majors with the Rockies, Cubs, Tigers, Braves and Rangers, can play multiple positions. In addition to first base, Baker has also played second and third bases, and right and left field.

     As a pinch-hitter, Baker hit .286 last season.

     The signing of Baker would appear to significantly impact Ed Lucas' chances of making the Marlins' Opening Day roster, as Lucas and Baker have overlapping skill sets and positions.

     Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was the first to report last month that the Marlins were considering Baker.

     The Marlins have addressed their bench in recent weeks by adding outfielder Reed Johnson and infielder Ty Wigginton on minor-league deals with invitations to spring training.

Comments

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Lou

Right!! I really doubt that LORIA cuts a guy who he has signed to a guaranteed contract to keep Ed Lucas. Usually I try to come up with an analogy but there is none for that scenario.

Lou

I hope Baker can help The Tigers traded for him in late 2012 and he did absolutely nothing and was left off of World Series roster. He appeared to have bounced back last year. You don't really want him playing 2nd or 3rd but he is an adequate outfielder. I don't recall him playing a lot of 1st but he should do an okay job.

Stan M

I won't discredit the signing. There does appear to be one downside. That is, Ed Lucus losing his roster spot. I just like the way the guy plays the game and feel he is an asset when small ball is considered. Any way one looks at it, this team is improved. How much? I'm hoping for 3rd place but realize the odds are against me. Perhaps the biggest question right now might be, can Redmond grow into the job?

harry in hollywood

At least they're signing experienced MLB players instead of having a roster filled with minor league wanna be's ,could be's and maybe's,like the past several seasons. They might not be play-off contenders but they'll be watchable,unlike last year.

spitballer

With all of the signings this off season, the Marlins better get off to a good start. If they are in last place come mid May, it won't surprise me if Jeffery makes a move with Redmond.

MBL

@Harry, seriously?? Experienced players??? That's like being told the date you're about to go on has a good personality! These guys are scrubs and over the hill or lack talent. In today's game, a srub like Baker can get darn near $2 mil. If you want good players, you have to pay (and I don't mean $2 mil!!!).

spitballer

With all of these signings this off season, the Marlins better get off to a hot start. Redmond will be on the hot seat if the Marlins are in last place in May. They have changed managers in May before.

juanv

harry, your right, it makes the season more interesting. it doesn't mean world series or play offs but at least it gives Redmond more options as far as line ups and flexibility. On paper a third or fourth place finish in the east is a possibility stan but it is hard to predict injuries and slumps and bad bounces until the season is played. they can lose a hundred or win 85. we all know what we hope for but I am definitely looking forward to next season.

Flav C.

juanv - when i look at the big mess the Phillies is in right now, and the fact that the Mets won't have their ace for the season and are putting a lot of their hopes in a 40 year old Bartolo Colon, I think the chances for the Marlins getting 3rd place are bigger than ever.

And I agree with you on the aspect that Redmond has a lot more options (depth) in the roster; granted, there are no big super-stars, but reliable players who can surprise a lot of people.

babalooey

at least this guy can speak English

Delray

Signing more utility guys on a team that has hardly anything but utility guys is no eye-opener for me.
Moving Stanton is the key to upgrading the team .. he takes good pitches, swings mostly at the bad ones, and has lost speed on the bases. The team had a chance to turn the corner at the trade deadline by taking the Pirates offer of pitchers Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and cf Starlin Marte for Stanton and Cishek. Marte would have given the Marlins great defense in center and a leadoff guy with speed. Ozuna doesn't appear to be up to the job (based on a weak winter league performance). Cole and Taillon would have give the Marlins pitching depth that would allow them to trade pitching for some young position players with real potential. As it is, the Marlins are little different than last season

Flav C.

Delray, i will respectfully disagree with you.

On the Stanton topic, the Pirates GM said over and over he would not include Cole on any trade conversations. As usual, this was the media and its rumor machine.

Some of those players are utility and others aren't.

If you look at some of the key positions, there will be tremendous upgrades compared to what we had last season. Not only through trades, but also with the young guys who will have a full season in 2014.

On 1B, the Marlins had a 64 RBI production in 2013, with 7 different players. In 2014, a combo of Jones and Baker can bring (easily) 80-85 RBIs.

On C, the Marlins had 5 players and 51 RBIs in 2013. Salty and Mathis can bring 80 RBIs, on a worst-case scenario.

On 3B, in 2013 7 players and 44 RBIs. Now in 2014 a combo of McGehee and Dietrich can bring easily 60 RBIs

Even on LF a whole season of Yelich can bring more than the 35 RBIs that this position produced in 2013.

As far as Ozuna, he was coming back from thumb surgery and almost 5 months inactive. I'd think it is very hard to gauge a player based on this scenario. The truth is that when he was with the Marlins he was their best hitter, hands-down. He showed he was up to the job.

Based on all of this (I didn't even mention the pitching) there is no way this team will be little different than last season. Obviously, we are measuring 2014's Marlins against (arguably) one of the lousiest performances we've ever seen in the Major Leagues. There's that.

Overall, I'm confident I'll go to the ballpark and watch a better product than in 2013.


harry in hollywood

The big difference in 14' will be the ability to score runs. In 13' the Marlins only scored 513 runs. With the new aquisitions if the Marlins can score an average of only one more run a game,that would put them at 675. The Braves won the division with 688 runs in 13'. Not saying the Marlins will do that,but simply put,the 14' team will be much more competitive scoring an average on only one more run a game during the season. They should do better than at least 1/2 a run a game. Big difference from last season.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Good analysis, Flav. I hope you're right. And if Baker continues to feast on lefties the way he has recently, he'll turn out to be a great pick up.

Marlin Fan

Yes , great job Flav . The new year should prove interesting .

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