Dec
17

Sherman: Yankees have expressed interest in Jeff Baker

By

Via Joel Sherman: The Yankees have expressed interest in free agent utility man Jeff Baker. They’ve been connected to him a few times over the years but never did land him. New York added Brian Roberts earlier today and are still looking for position player help, particularly on the infield.

Baker, 32, hit .279/.360/.545 (143 wRC+) with eleven homers in only 175 plate appearances for the Rangers last season while missing more than a month with a thumb sprain suffered during a high-five (not joking). The right-handed batter has a history of mashing lefties (186 wRC+ in 2013 and 128 career), plus he has experience at the three non-shortstop infield positions as well as both corner outfield spots. Baker fits the roster really well in a platoon role. Makes a lot of sense.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League

57 Comments»

  1. Blake says:

    Like Baker better than Reynolds

  2. Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

    Witness!!

    Makes a lot of sense…if they were a player or three away from contention.

    They’re ten wins away.

    • mitch says:

      Agreed. They should totally just make up those 10 wins by acquiring Mike Trout. Trying to get marginally better with small acquisitions is pointless.

      • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

        Not pointless. They’re hoping to get lucky. That’s a loser’s errand. Since they’re blowing past 189, just give Drew a big contract to play three positions. Make it $10M more than the next offer. Jeter certainly shouldn’t be playing SS.

        • mustang says:

          Not going to happen they are not going to give people $$$ if they don’t think the value is there. This is why they don’t 240mm second baseman.

        • mustang says:

          “They’re hoping to get lucky. That’s a loser’s errand. ”

          Oh! Really tell that to the Red Sox they got lucky a lot last year.

          • Dick M says:

            You don’t want to go there ‘stang.

            Attached article from Grantland pretty much says it all as far as Yanks and Sox are concerned:

            http://www.grantland.com/story.....rk-yankees

            • Vincent Vega says:

              It also says the Yanks should have outspent the Mariners for the services of Cano and in the same breath, stop signing aging players.

              • jsbrendog says:

                it also says soriano was so terrible that the cubs paid most of his salary to get the yankees to take him off their hands…since when was a 101 ops+ through 98 games so terrible? esp with 17 hr when power is hard to come by these days?

                the guy who wrote it is a dermatologist. just cause he writes for grantland and has a podcast or works for baseball prospectus doesn’t mean he knows what he is talking about

                • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                  Terrible is an overstatement, but they did eat a ton of his contract. There was a reason for that.

                  • jsbrendog says:

                    because they are rebuilding and didnt need to pay him and weren’t going to win and would be better off with a smaller payroll and a prospect in their system even if it wasnt a top tier one?

                    it isn’t like they just had someone waiting in the wings to take over who would’ve done sooo much better.

                  • Kvothe says:

                    One reason is because Alfonso had a NTC and wouldn’t waive it except for the Yankees. Lots of trade leverage there. Better to get some savings and a B prospect than no one.

        • TheEvilUmpire says:

          Hey, who are you calling a loser? I’m totally going to win that megamillions jackpot tonight! Brian Roberts is totally going to hit 30 hrs this year and Matt Thorton is going to be the second coming of Mo and save 60 games!

          aaand…. End Rant…

  3. mustang says:

    Goggle him.

    He looks like a guy who would sprain his thumb on a high five >>LOL

  4. I Collect Brett Gardner Cards says:

    What will he cost?

  5. Thomas says:

    Imagine what would happen, if he got he got high fived by Shelley Duncan!

    • nyyankfan_7 says:

      Shelley Duncan doesn’t high five – he smashes forearms.

      But do imagine if he high fived Chuck Norris – the drummer from Def Leppard did that once, he learned his lesson.

  6. Loco says:

    No thanks, we have enough stop gap wanna be Major Leaguers on the roster. On another note, the Orioles get Balfour on a 2 year deal. We snooze we lose I guess.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Baker’s not a “wannabe Major Leaguer.” He’s a proven lefty masher and belongs in the league in that role. If he can play a passable third, I’d take him over Reynolds.

      • nyyankfan_7 says:

        Why does everyone assume that because “so-and-so” signed there for x amount years and x amount of dollars that the Yankees could have automatically signed him? We have zero clue that Cashman didn’t offer him 2 years and 17 million only to be told that Balfour doesn’t like New York or thinks the O’s have a better chance to win or a countless amount of other reasons? There has to be mutual interest to have a contract not just more money.

        These guys have agents – Balfour’s agent could easily be telling him “New York is offering you $2 million more to play there; BUT you will be the next closer after the Greatest man to ever lace his cleats and step on the mound in the 9th inning and I would strongly urge you not to play there because the city will make it miserable for you if you ever blow a single save”?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Balfour probably wants to close. We can’t guarantee him that. Therefore, Balfour goes and closes somewhere else.

      Choose happiness.

  7. soxhata says:

    Good God! I would rather give Youk a complete physical,and if all looked good,give him another shot-at a very reduced price.The Yanks pass on Infante,pass on Balfour,pass on J P Howell,pass on Mark Ellis.Now we are talking Baker,and 37 yr old Thorton,and 36 yr old Roberts,who has played 193 games total,in the last four years.I just have seen no planning with the future in mind.Just plugging holes.Sad.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Weird that you say you’d take Youk back before complaining about the ages of Thornton and Roberts and then complaining some more about the lack of future planning. Baker is two years younger than Youk, btw.

      • soxhata says:

        Not weird.Just that Youk has a track record as an above average regular player,and agreed it was 3 years back,but Baker is just an average fill in.I would like much younger alternatives at 3b and 2b,but this is what the Yankee braintrust is coming up with.We will have to wait and see.Can’t wait to hear the Cashman spin on these spare part signings .

        • nyyankfan_7 says:

          You prefer Youk at a reduced rate – so lets say 50% reduced – 1 year / $8 million to Jeff Baker at 1 year and $3 / million?

          In 50 more PA’s last year Baker had 20 more hits, 9 more home runs and suffered a freak injury and not another year of reoccuring back problems.

          And what cheaper and younger options would you plug into 2B and 3B? Dustin Ackley because the M’s are just going to give him away?

          It’s not a video game, GM’s only can work with what is available not every player on every roster.

          • soxhata says:

            Would Youk come on a minor league invite? Just saying ,Baker and Roberts are disappointing plan b’s,and even c’s.McCann and Ellsbury are nice signs,but so far,we still seem like a non playoff team,with a patchwork infield,and pitching needs out the yin yang.

  8. Dr. TJ Eckleberg says:

    I like it. He’s cheap, and if you use him against lefties at 2b with a guy like Reynolds at 3B, you have some RH pop in the lineup.

  9. The Thumb says:

    Eric Jagielo 2015!!! ….please.

  10. dasani says:

    It is what it is, the result of a poor farm system that will plaque this organization for years to come,and is why they’ll throw mega bucks at Kershaw for 2015.

    • nyyankfan_7 says:

      No they will throw major dollars at Kershaw in 2015 because he is the best pitcher in the game. Players like him come along once every 50 to 100 years for an organization; to expect the farm system to produce someone capable of producing Kershaw’s stats is as ridiculous as expecting the Yankees to win the World Series every single season.

    • JU says:

      Kershaw won’t make it to FA in 2015. But if he did, I don’t care if they dad the Cardinals system, they should be opening the checkbook for Kershaw. Of all the dumb signings they’ve made, this is the one they’re gonna get conservative on? C’mon…

    • stuckey says:

      I’m continually amused that in this ever-increasingly statistical culture, the fact that throwing mega dollar and mega years at ANYONE is a statistically losing proposition is ignored or not properly understood.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      ….which was what to do with a part-time utility infielder?

  11. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Perhaps on an MiLB. I’d say utility infielder is an area we’ve got pretty much covered. Don’t understand why we’d need another.

  12. tony says:

    I love to read these yankee haters post all this trash talk .Bronx Bombers offense is stacked, When Tanaka signs, and he will, its a wrap.Yanks will be back.

  13. Jersey Joe says:

    I would like this signing. I don’t see why everyone is losing their minds about this. He hits lefties well, plays 3B/2B, and that is just what we need.

    • RetroRob says:

      No matter what direction the Yankees go there will be a noisy element who will be upset. Sign Robinson Cano for more than five years? Crazy! Don’t sign him for 10 years and match the Mariners? Crazy! Sign low-cost players to fill gaps? Crazy! Don’t sign Infante? Crazy! Sign Infante? Crazy!

      Last year people were going nuts that they didn’t sign Jeff Keppinger.

  14. Dicka24 says:

    I just checked out Bakers career splits over at Bballreferenc, and I’m impressed. The guy has 35 homers and a career .522 slg% and .875 OPS vs LHP, in 750+ AB’s. He really can mash lefties.

  15. Devil Dawgs says:

    Great Idea Matt, We can have Anna,Roberts,Johnson,and Nunez,Hell lets spend another 5 mill for another fill in.

  16. Joemc1470 says:

    I played HS baseball with this guy. Not a very good team guy. Hope he has changed.

  17. Bill O says:

    Baker or Reynolds make a lot of sense for this team. I’d be happy with either of them. The plus side of Baker is that it adds depth to the INF and OF and eliminates any need to keep either Ichiro or Wells.

    In an ideal world we’d sign both of them. I doubt that, but hey it would really solidify the bench and give the team many options for what figures to be a very questionable infield.

  18. rogue says:

    Baker is a no-brainer at this point.

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