Mariners, Indians “emerging as favorites” for Scott Baker

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Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Mariners and Indians are “emerging as favorites” among the 5-7 teams that have expressed serious interest in signing free agent starter Scott Baker.

Baker missed the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and made only three starts for the Cubs in 2013, but he had a 3.14 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 2011 with the Twins and is expected to enter camp this year at full health.

Cotillo expects Baker to settle for a minor league contract. That’s a worthwhile gamble for any club.

Scooter Gennett wins arbitration case against Reds

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The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.

Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.

Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.