Scott Baker’s agent told Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com that the veteran right-hander has interest from at least five teams, but so far they’re only offering minor-league contracts and Baker is holding out for a big-league deal.
Baker was once a solid mid-rotation starter for the Twins, but missed all of 2012 following Tommy John elbow surgery and has struggled to regain his old form. Last season he threw 81 innings for the Rangers split between the rotation and bullpen, posting a 5.47 ERA and 55/14 K/BB ratio.
Oh, and an interesting little note: Baker’s agent is longtime big leaguer Bobby Witt, who won 142 games as a hard-throwing, control-challenged starter from 1986-2001.
Veteran first baseman/corner outfielder Mike Carp has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Nationals that includes an invitation to spring training.
Carp hit very well for the Red Sox as a part-timer in 2013, batting .296 with an .885 OPS in 86 games, but last season he hit just .175 in 59 games for the Red Sox and Rangers.
He’s a career .254 hitter with a .744 OPS through age 28, which is slightly above-average production overall, and if spotted mostly versus right-handed pitching the left-handed-hitting Carp could be especially useful. He’ll compete for a bench gig in Washington.
There’s been lots of speculation that the White Sox will trade Dayan Viciedo, but in the meantime they avoided arbitration with the corner outfielder by signing a one-year, $4.4 million deal.
Viciedo has failed to develop any semblance of plate discipline offensively and his defense has always been bad, so hitting .254 with a .424 slugging percentage simply isn’t enough to make him a quality regular. On the other hand he’s still just 26 years old and does have 25-homer power.
Chicago has Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia in the outfield corners with Jose Abreu at first base and Adam LaRoche at designated hitter, so unless the White Sox plan to pay $4.4 million for a part-timer Viciedo is destined to be elsewhere eventually.
Right-hander Jesse Chavez and the A’s have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says he’ll get $2.15 million following a season in which he threw 146 innings with a 3.45 ERA while splitting time between the bullpen and rotation after a career spent almost entirely as a reliever.
Chavez is unlikely to make 21 starts again in 2015, projecting more as a middle reliever. He has a 3.83 ERA in 207 total innings for the A’s since 2012.
Jamey Carroll, who sat out last season after being released by the Nationals during spring training, has officially retired as a player at age 41 and joined the Pirates’ front office as a specialist assistant to the baseball operations staff.
Carroll didn’t make it to the majors until age 28, but had a 12-year career in which he hit .272 with a .349 on-base percentage and excellent strike-zone control as utility man.
He earned nearly $20 million while playing for six different teams and logging at least 1,500 innings at shortstop, second base, and third base.