The 32-year-old Baker slashed .279/.360/.545 in 2013 thanks in large part to his Herculean numbers against left-handed pitching. Baker has never been one to handle same-handed pitching well, and he showed that last season with a .204/.250/.286 line against righties in just 52 plate appearances. However, in his 123 PAs against southpaws, Baker mashed at a .314/.407/.667 clip. In his career, he's a .298/.353/.522 hitter against lefties.
Baker has primarily played second and first base, but has also seen action at third and the outfield. Earlier this offseason, Miami signed Casey McGehee as its starting third baseman. Ed Lucas remains on the 40-man roster. Also in the mix for spots are spring training invitees Ty Wigginton and Juan Diaz. Last week, the Marlins agreed to a minor-league deal with outfielder Reed Johnson. Position players report to camp Feb. 20 in Jupiter, Fla.
As a pinch-hitter, Baker hit .286 last season. The signing of Baker would appear to hurt Ed Lucas’ chances of making the Marlins’ Opening Day roster, as Lucas and Baker have overlapping skill sets and positions. The Marlins have addressed their bench in recent weeks by signing outfielder Reed Johnson and infielder Ty Wigginton.
Baker batted .279 with 11 home runs and 21 RBIs in 74 games for Texas last season. The Marlins will be the sixth team for the nine-year veteran, who is a .267 career hitter. Baker has played first, second and third base, as well and left and right field.
Jeff Baker has agreed to a two-year, $3.7 million deal with the Marlins, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Baker is coming off a very productive season as a part-timer for the Rangers and has experience all over the field defensively, but a two-year contract is surprising for a 33-year-old who’s bounced around a ton and generally been available pretty cheaply.
Report: Baker, Marlins agree to 2-year deal http://t.co/uEcQp1e4OH— Insider_Sports (@Insider_Sports) February 4, 2014
Baker deal is pending physical #Marlins— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) February 4, 2014
Marlins gave Baker 2 yrs and 3.7M.Now have added Ty Wigginton,Reed Johnson and Baker in past 2 weeks,trying to strengthen bench.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) February 4, 2014
Casey Mcgahee, Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker. These are the big signings I envisioned when Marlins Park opened.— Will Manso (@WillManso) February 4, 2014
Marlins sign Jeff Baker. http://t.co/d3blUv41Vi— Rizz (@Rizzmigizz) February 4, 2014
Jeff Baker gets $1.6MM in 2014, $2.1MM in 2015 on #Marlins deal.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 4, 2014