The New York Yankees have reached an agreement with right-handed pitcher Scott Baker on a minor-league deal, which includes an invitation to big league spring training. The deal was first reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, he will earn $1.5 million if he makes the Yankees’ big league team.
The 33-year-old right-hander had previously drawn interest from multiple teams this offseason, as he was offered many minor-league deals in the process. However, it was said that Baker was not signing earlier on in the winter because he was holding out for a major-league deal that would guarantee him a spot on the team. By signing a minor-league deal, he is not guaranteed a spot on the Yankees’ big league team come April, as he will have to win his roster spot.
The Yankees’ current starting rotation is filled with the likes of C.C. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, newly-acquired Nathan Eovaldi, who came from the Miami Marlins. The final rotation spot will most likely be a battle between left-hander Chris Capuano and Scott Baker. However, there are still many question marks with the Yankees regarding their starting rotation, as Sabathia, Tanaka and Pineda all were sidelined for most of the 2014 season with injuries, as well as Ivan Nova, who is not due back until the summer after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May.
In 25 games pitched (eight starts) for the Texas Rangers during the 2014 campaign, Baker went 3-4, along with a 5.47 ERA, 71 ERA+, 4.78 FIP and a 6.1 K/9 in 80 and 2/3 innings pitched. Over nine major-league seasons, he has a career 66-52 record, along with a 4.25 ERA, while pitching for the Minnesota Twins, where he missed almost two full seasons due to injury, derailing him from returning to his original form, Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers.