MLB Trade Rumors is reporting off of a Fox Sports tweet that the Cubs have signed Jeff Baker to a one year, $1.175 million deal and thus avoid one potential arbitration eligible case.
With what has been a quiet off season so far in terms of player moves by the Cubs, this news is at least something Cubs fans can help pass the time with, since so far we have been watching from the sidelines as other MLB teams have started sign their picks of the free agent litter.
Baker has been a serviceable utility infielder who basically has provided the Cubs the same cover in the infield that fan favorite Mark DeRosa did during the playoff seasons of 2007 and 2008. The only difference is slightly lower offensive numbers in terms of average and power. A combination of Aramis Ramirez’s injury history over the last couple seasons at 3B, the undecided situation at 2B, and the current unfilled 1B position, Baker will figure to get plenty of playing time and at bats as a super sub if not as a platoon player at 2B with lefty hitting Blake DeWitt.
Baker was definitely not one of the reasons that caused things to go wrong in the 2010 season, so at this price it is good to see the Cubs maintaining some veteran depth on the 25 man roster.
This does not rule out the trade of Baker later this offseason considering the Cubs minor league depth in the middle infield, but for the time being it probably will quiet the rumors for Orlando Hudson or the desire for Felipe Lopez.
As Jordan mentioned in a post yesterday, the Cubs still have five arbitration eligible players left, so keep checking back to Cubbie’s Crib for the latest news and thoughts.