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Article: Report From The Fort: Batting Order Time!

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:24 AM
I’ve got good news for the batting order obsessed: it’s finally your time. With more regulars playing more games this week, it’s time to...
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Article: Report From The Fort: Decisions And Divides

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:03 AM
Pop quiz, hot shot: When the rubber meets the road, what makes everything move forward?Answer: Friction.For a team that was supposedly go...
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Accounting for the Runs in Your Predicted 2017 Twins Wins

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
The Twins gave up 889 runs last season and scored 772 for a run differential of -167 runs. Knowing the Twins will improve about 2 games f...
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Article: Tyler Jay and Baseball's Evolving Bullpen

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:58 PM
Twins fans were recently hit with the news that former first round pick Tyler Jay will be moved to the bullpen. This is disappointing new...
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Article: Report From The Fort: Berrios Gone, Duffey v. Mejia

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
The place to be this morning for Twins baseball nerds was Boston’s minor league fields to see Tyler Duffey and Adalberto Mejia, both batt...
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Baker Follows a Good Deal

Attached Image: baker.jpg It didn't come as a surprise that Scott Baker signed a contract just a couple weeks into this offseason. He's not the first recognizable pitcher to come off the board, as Bartolo Colon and Hisashi Iwakuma preceded him.

Baker is, however, the first to land with a new team. And I think that does come as a surprise to a lot of people, given the Twins' well publicized efforts to bring him back.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
Baker didn't spend much time testing the open market, as his new one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Cubs was announced Tuesday. Including an additional $1.5 million in incentives, it's undeniably a great deal for the 31-year-old right-hander, and one that the Twins were wise not to try and match (assuming he gave them the chance). Baker is a very good pitcher when healthy, but he's eclipsed 175 innings only once in his career and guaranteeing him $5.5 million in his first season back from major elbow surgery – despite a saturated pitching market – seems crazy to me. The Cubs didn't even mitigate their risk by including a team option that might get them a bargain in 2014. Many pitchers don't return to full strength until their second year back from Tommy John.

It's natural to wonder what led the hurler to sign elsewhere so quickly. People will inevitably think back to the weird exchanges that took place between Baker and Twins coaches when he was complaining of elbow soreness back in the spring. Was there friction there?

He certainly didn't move on to the Cubs because winning was his highest priority, so there's a temptation to ascribe motives. Why would he ditch the organization that raised him, even if an extra million or two was being offered by another club?

To me, this is a case where Baker just wanted to do what was best for him, and it's hard to argue with his decision. He's already 31 and won't have many more chances for a big payday. So, coming off surgery, he jumps on the chance to earn a nice guaranteed sum throwing in the more pitcher-friendly National League for a season. He's not tied down past next year so he'll have a chance to hit the market again after hopefully proving that his surgery was a success.

Good for him. Meanwhile, the Twins quickly lose out on one of their most accessible options and have to readjust their plans after probably expecting they'd be able to bring Baker back. Your move, TR.


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