View Full Version : Article: Does A Deal With Scott Baker Make Sense?

John Bonnes
09-17-2012, 11:34 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?1044-Should-Twins-Sign-Scott-Baker-Now

Shane Wahl
09-17-2012, 11:40 PM
Absolutely they should try to do it.

09-18-2012, 12:06 AM
I'm all for it.

Jim Crikket
09-18-2012, 12:12 AM
I wondered the same thing when I read about Lewis' deal with the Rangers. Seems like the model for a possible Baker offer.

Here's my question, though... if Baker and his agent want exactly the same deal that Lewis got, without the 2014 option, do you sign him up for 2013 on the same terms?

09-18-2012, 12:14 AM
Well, if he thinks he can compete with all the talent in spring training...

Ha ha, painful joke.

Top Gun
09-18-2012, 12:26 AM
Non sense, Baker is shot.

mike wants wins
09-18-2012, 07:52 AM
Sure, at those prices, sure. But, he would need to be your fifth or sixth option. He cannot be counted on as a top 3 guy.

Winston Smith
09-18-2012, 08:40 AM
Chances are he won't do much until may-june. Not sure that helps us much. How many 30 yr old guys have come back and been good the first year?

09-18-2012, 08:42 AM
I don't know why Baker would want to sign with us with our medical staff causing him an 8 month delay in his recovery.

July 5th 2011 - Scott Baker is shut down for 18 days to see if rest will help his elbow.
August 8th 2011 - Scott Baker is shut down for 44 days to see if rest will help his elbow.
September 24 2011 - Scott Baker is shut down for the offseason to see if an even longer rest will help his elbow.
April 11 2012 - Scott Baker undergoes surgery for a tendon repair surgery with a 6 month timeframe that turns into Tommy John with a 12-18 month timeframe for recovery.

I understand that rest is frequently advised with injuries but I would think after the second time of 44 days didn't do anything that they might have explored surgery at the end of 2011 instead of at the beginning of the season. If I were Baker I would be pissed this team cost him a decent contract in 2013 because he lacked recovery time from his surgery. I would also be pissed because in the back of my mind I would think that maybe if I had the surgery and didn't stress the elbow so much with all these comebacks that maybe I would have only needed the tendon repair.


09-18-2012, 08:43 AM
I'm leaning toward signing him, but with the expectation that he probably won't pitch for the Twins until June... Look at how long it took Nathan to get back to normal... Every pitcher that has TJ is different, so it's a real gamble, and Baker has always been a bit inconsistent anyway... If they sign him for $1-2 million with incentives, it would certainly reduce the risk... If he works out great, if he doesn't, you don't lose much...

09-18-2012, 09:49 AM
Don't they have to wait till the offseason to decline his 2013 option on the existing deal? I don't think they can work out a deal right now.

Top Gun
09-18-2012, 10:33 AM
... Matt Capps (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/MLB/4296/Matt-Capps) will begin facing batters this week. He could rejoin the Twins’ bullpen for their final series of the season

09-18-2012, 10:57 AM
Chances are he won't do much until may-june. Not sure that helps us much. How many 30 yr old guys have come back and been good the first year?

Wainwright came back just fine this year, he's 30. Chris Carpenter came back and pitched well at age 29, but maybe it's a St. Louis thing.

I'm OK with bringing back Baker on a reasonable deal, but what happens to the perception of the front office if they do re-sign him or for that matter Pavano or Capps? Fans aren't going to see Scott Baker and think of him as an exciting new off-season acquisition, in fact most fans aren't going to think of him as an acquisition at all seeing as he's always been with the Twins and lately he's been a part of the terrible Twins. Of course when the front office tries to promote it's offseason signings, Baker WOULD be included when they sit down for an interview with Neal or Chirstianson come March to discuss how they upgraded the rotaion. In other words, what ever the Twins have planned as far as free agent money, don't bother trying to deduct the price of Baker from that budget because the fans wont be buying that Baker is new money spent.

Like I said, I'd re-sign Baker, but from a PR standpoint, the front office may be better off using that money on a new name to try to sell everyone that they are attemtping to head in a new direction.

09-18-2012, 11:33 AM
30yr old pitchers arent put on pitch counts.....esp on a 1 or 2 yr deal
With a late april/early may surgery....Baker should be throwing seriously by late Feb/early march.
He easily could be ready for start of season as most pitchers on tj recovery are throwing fully by 1 full yr. Even if its May 1st...thats fine.
He's better than ANY picher Terry Ryan will seriously look at.....go for it

09-18-2012, 12:51 PM
Sure, Lewis got $2M and then can make up to $6M with # of appearances and time on the major league roster, so a similar deal would work. We paid Marquis $3M this year for nothing.

09-18-2012, 01:07 PM
I wondered the same thing when I read about Lewis' deal with the Rangers. Seems like the model for a possible Baker offer.

Here's my question, though... if Baker and his agent want exactly the same deal that Lewis got, without the 2014 option, do you sign him up for 2013 on the same terms?

I just don't see it working without the option. I think there's a huge question about when Baker might be ready to pitch next season. Given that it could be late summer before he's ready, there has to be some added incentive for the team. And that comes in the form of a 2014 option (that option could easily be in the $8 - $10 million range -- the team's control is actually more important than the exact amount as long as its not exorbitant).

Seth Stohs
09-18-2012, 01:20 PM
If Baker will sign that same deal, the Twins should do it in a second.

DAM DC Twins Fans
09-18-2012, 02:41 PM
Why would Baker sign an incentive laden deal now with Twins?? First they have $9 mill option that they have to formally decline. Wouldnt he then wait to see what other teams offer?? If Twins do it before free agency--they would probably have to guarantee at least $4 mill--cause Baker will otherwise say he will hope to get that much on market...

09-18-2012, 03:21 PM
I'm not saying NO, but I do have some issues on this. 1st. will he be ready by May 1st? 100%? Can he pitch 180 innings? Where is his velocity at in comparison? where is his control at? If he can't be ready until the middle of June, and his fast ball is sitting at 86 and his control isn't there. Then even a 2 million incentive base deal isn't a good one.

09-18-2012, 06:14 PM
Offer Baker what Lewis got and run screaming for joy if he takes it.

Jack Torse
09-18-2012, 06:32 PM
Zero chance the twins sign him to a penny guaranteed in the first year. Almost zero chance they give any pitcher 8 million in 2014.

09-18-2012, 08:22 PM
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that Baker has been tossing the ball around for a few weeks now and reportedly said that he feels "good" and "strong". Not sure about whether he is on a certain publicized schedule. The fact that he is a free agent the end of the season also means that he cannot use Twins' facilities for rehab.

I can see him settle for an 1+1 year deal with the +1 option guaranteed to be the same as the 2013 option if he reaches a threshold. Lot's of incentives for the first season as well. I think that the Twins like the devils they know. They re-signed Capps and Pavano, didn't they?

Jim Crikket
09-18-2012, 10:29 PM
I would certainly try to get an option, but I wouldn't need it to make a deal. Certainly, he would have to pass a physical and do some throwing for the Twins to observe before you make an offer, but I think getting him for a Lewis-type deal would be pretty team-friendly.

09-18-2012, 10:50 PM
We can offer, but why would he sign?

The only way I think he will return to the Twins next year is by picking up the option.

Lesser Dali
09-18-2012, 11:09 PM
Scott Baker can be had for a reasonable price. Whether we retain him or not, he will not make much of a difference. Baker is not part of the chemistry make-up in the medicine that is needed to cure the Twins Organization's disease. At best he is temporary pain killer. The worst case scenario is that we sign him and he does not pitch next year.

09-18-2012, 11:10 PM
whatever base you want to give a pitcher with incentives, Id NEVER be hesitant to offer up an overly enticing package for the incentives.
If Baker comes back next yr & gives ya 33 starts & 215 IP, Id have no problem with the overall package being 9/10/11m.
If the go crazy & also resign Pavano (they will), Id do the same with him.....pay him ridiculous money ONLY IF he reaches the incentives.

Lesser Dali
09-18-2012, 11:17 PM
33 starts & 215 IP

With all due respect, the chances of Baker starting 33 games with 215 Inning Pitched next year are the same as Joe Mauer Batting .390 with 48 HR's.

09-19-2012, 10:57 AM
You absolutely try to sign Baker on a 1 yr guaranteed contract (5Mish) if and only if you get that 1 (or even better 2) reasonable option years (8-10M). TJ is a very successful surgery and the majority of pitchers are successful afterwards. If it doesn't work out then you don't have long term dollars committed. If it does work then you've locked up a solid #3 for 3 years at a pretty cheap price. it's pretty difficult to add pitchers at Baker's level w/o committing 50-80M to them.

09-19-2012, 03:24 PM
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that Baker has been tossing the ball around for a few weeks now and reportedly said that he feels "good" and "strong"

Has any pitcher after Tommy John surgery said their arm feels like garbage? I guess it's good that he's throwing at all, but the rest of it seems pretty meaningless.

09-20-2012, 01:24 AM
The Twins starting pitching staff for next season is full of questions. There are doubts for every pitcher. Even Diamond, whom many see as locking down a spot next season, has significant red flags. A rotation with this many question marks is not going to contend for a division title. In my opinion there are two ways the Twins can handle this.

First, the Twins could opt to embrace chaos by signing several pitchers to low priced deals or MiLB FA contracts or rule 5 draftees. They could then patch a rotation together by rotating pitchers in and out of the lineup based on with the hot hand. In this scenario many pitchers would need to be obtained to ensure a reasonable likelihood of success. In this scenario Baker seems like a great signing. He has the potential to be a good pitcher and if he flames out or never pitches you have plenty of available depth to replace him with.

Second, the Twins could sign two or more free agent pitchers that are likely in and of themselves to bring a consistently high level of pitching to the staff. These pitchers would then anchor the top of the rotation while one or two spots are left for several pitchers to compete for. One of the last spots in the rotation would be another good place for Baker. His success would be helpful but if he failed you still have others to replace him.

I would not be in favor of signing Baker with the intention of handing him a rotation spot. There are too many questions in Baker's ability next season to reserve a spot in his name.

On a separate note. I don't understand peoples fascination with incentive laden deals. An incentive laden deal for Baker would not free up any more money the Twins could then use to sign other players. The team isn't going to think, "Oh he has a $2m base salary so that is all I need to budget for him." No, they're going to come up with a figure they think he is likely to make and budget that instead. So, just picking numbers out of the air here, in the end if he signs for $5m or an incentive deal with a base of $2m it doesn't matter. The Twins are going to budget $5m either way.