Cubs offer minor league deals to two more players


August 31, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder

Ryan Kalish

(55) before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to the moves we relayed to you earlier today, the Cubs inked another pair of players – both to minor league deals – outfielder Ryan Kalish and catcher John Baker.

Kalish did not play with Boston last year due to an array of shoulder and neck injuries. In 2012, he hit .229 in just 36 games and has a career slash line of .243/.293/.351 in 89 games with Boston.

He will be reunited with Theo Epstein, who drafted Kalish out of Red Bank Catholic High School in New Jersey back in 2006.

Baker will likely serve as another potential backup option behind the dish next season. While Welington Castillo is slotted as the starter, the team has signed both George Kottaras and now Baker this offseason to fill a role previously held by Dioner Navarro, who departed via free agency.

Baker, 32, was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round in 2002, and has spent time at the big league level with both the San Diego Padres and the then-Florida Marlins. Although his career WAR is, at the least in the positive range, his RAA leaves something to be desired, indicating he is 4.5 runs worse than the league average player.

His OPS+ has declined steadily every year in varying amounts of playing time, from 119 in 2008 all the way down to 23 last season with the Padres. He will serve, at most, in a limited backup role in Chicago should he make the Major League roster.

Both players will receive invitations to Spring Training, as well.