Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein displayed his baseball intelligence and dominance over less superior general managers across the landscape of Major League Baseball once again. This time, Epstein appeared to get the better of Detroit Tigers’ general manager Dave Dambrowski. One of the trades that the Chicago Cubs made after the July 31 trade deadline was the trade on August 5 that sent utility infielder Jeff Baker to the Detroit Tigers for two players to be named later.
Now, before we take a look at who the Cubs received for Baker, lets take a look at the type of player that Baker was for the Cubs before being traded to the Tigers during the 2012 season. In 54 games with the Cubs during the 2012 season, Baker hit .269/.306/.448/.754 in 134 at bats. As the months in the season progressed, Baker was seeing less and less playing time. Baker’s lack of playing time may be traced back to the fact that second baseman Darwin Barney emerged as an elite defender at the second base position during the 2012 season. Knowing that Baker was no more than a reserve player who barely had an on base percentage above .300, the expectation was that the Cubs would receive two fringe prospects from the Tigers once the two sides completed the trade.
Well, the Cubs and Tigers completed the Baker trade on Tuesday. The prospect that the Cubs acquired from the Tigers was certainly not a fringe prospect. The Cubs acquired right handed starting pitching prospect Marcelo Carreno from the Tigers. Carreno entered the season as the Tigers’ eleventh best prospect within their organization. Though, had Carreno remained with the Tigers for the 2013 season, the pitcher likely would have a chance to crack the top ten ranking of prospects within the Tigers organization. With the Tigers’ class A affiliate in 2012, Carreno posted a record of 3.23 to go along with a WHIP of 1.127. Even more impressive about Carreno’s season in 2012 was the control that the pitcher showed. In 2012, Carreno only issued 28 base on balls which was good enough for a BB/9 ratio of 1.8. Carreno certainly will add some much needed depth and promise to what is a fairly weak area in the Cubs’ system when it comes to pitching.
The Cubs also received cash considerations from the Tigers, which took the place of the second player to be named later.