Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cubs do Something Smart, Sign Scott Baker

A couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Cubs seemingly had a new starting pitcher in Dan Haren while simultaneously dumping the fantastically wild Carlos Marmol at the same time. Angels fans were all kinds of sad face, while Cubbies fans rejoiced. Then something weird happened. The Cubs pulled out. The Cubs. Pulled. Out. Maybe it was something in Danny boys medical record that scared them. Maybe they enjoy the "excitement" whenever Marmol is on the mound. For whatever reason, the trade died, leaving this blogger to believe that Theo Epstein was quite possibly losing his mind.

*Fast forward to yesterday*

Yesterday it became official that the Cubs were signing Scott Baker to a one-year deal worth $5.5MM with incentives totaling $1.5MM. Even if Baker hits all his incentives, a $7MM one year deal, is a score for Theo as he is now getting a pitcher who in three of his last four season posted bWAR's (Baseball-reference WAR) north of three, two of those seasons above four. Of course, Baker is coming off Tommy John Surgery, but that's the equivalent to coming back from a stubbed toe these days. And Epstein agrees. Commence blockquote.
‘‘If you have to sign a pitcher who is coming off surgery, Tommy John is the one you want him to come off because it’s a very predictable rehab with a very strong success rate, upwards of 95 percent,’ 
‘‘You don’t set out looking for Tommy John guys,’’ Epstein said. ‘‘But the reality is it’s not exactly a buyer’s market for pitching out there right now. You have to take your risks.
And he's right. Of course, Theo is always right. And thanks to and the fancy shmancy Free Agent List, we can double check him just to see that he is in fact right. Although, I'm sure he had to fight the urge to see if Carlos Zambrano had learned his lesson playing in Miami and deserved another chance to not play baseball for a traveling circus.
This man is always right

Scott will slide nicely into the back end of a Cubs rotation that is headlined by a crazy man in Matt Garza and a long hair in Jeff Samardzija (And yes, I did copy and paste that last name). In that spot his knack for being a "pitch maker," as Theo called him in this interview, will make him a valuable asset. As well bringing with him his make up intangibles. Recommence blockquote.
‘‘Do you want to take a risk on the guy with bad makeup? Do you want to take a risk on the guy with bad command? Or do you want to take a risk on a guy you really believe in who’s coming off Tommy John surgery at an appropriate value point. We’re very comfortable placing our bet on Scott Baker.’’
Well how about that. A good pitcher who is also an all around good guy. I wish my team would've gone out and gotten themselves this guy. The Cubs still have work to do, what with coming off of a 101 loss season where they finished only six games better then the Houston Astros. But you have to give Theo some time. It wasn't until his third season in Boston that they broke the Curse of the Bambino. So don't get your hopes up to high for 2013 Cubs fans. But in 2014, watch out.

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