Yankees Editorial: Scott Baker is a Great Signing for the New York Yankees


With a surplus of injury-related questions still surrounding the New York Yankees starting rotation, I believe they made a great decision to bring in Scott Baker on a minor league deal. Last week I wrote about why the Yankees needed to prioritize starting rotation depth, and their decision to agree with Scott Baker on a one-year deal further emphasized my point.

Baker, 33, pitched in 25 games including eight starts for the Texas Rangers in 2014 and posted a 5.47 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Prior to pitching for the Rangers, Baker pitched to a 63-48 record while posting a 4.15 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a 770/224 K/BB ratio over seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins. He was always a solid two or three starter and could certainly return to true form in his second season consecutive season back from surgery.

Minor league deals always come with absolutely zero risk, so in my opinion this is nothing but a good move by Brian Cashman. Should Baker return to form, he can be a nice insurance arm in case of injury or if Chris Capuano struggles to live up to his expectations. 

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According to sabermetrics, Baker proved to be a much better pitcher in 2014 than his ERA suggests. His overall WHIP of 1.19 last year was pretty solid and his fielding independent pitching (FIP) of 4.78, while not good, isn’t terribly dreadful.

The only cause for concern is that Baker’s last completely healthy season occurred in 2011 with the Twins, in which he posted a 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.45 FIP and 123/32 K/BB ratio.

All in all, it took zero risk for the Yankees to bring in Baker on a minor league deal. They desperately needed extra arms, and Baker has a chance to contribute regularly if his own health holds up. Minor league deals are always worth the roll of the dice for a player with potential upside.

What do you think Yankees fans? Let us know in the comments below.

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