Jeff Baker and the Cubs have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal prior to tonight’s contract-tendering deadline.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the deal is worth $1.175 million, which is a 20 percent raise from the $975,000 he earned while hitting .272/.326/.413 in a part-time role this season.
Baker has logged 333, 248, and 224 plate appearances in the past three seasons and figures to spend 2011 in a reserve role again. He started a total of 48 games this year, seeing most of his action at third base and second base.
Manager Alex Cora said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be activated from the disabled list on Friday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
Pedroia, 34, had cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee in late October. He played in only 105 games last season, batting .293/.369/.392 with seven home runs and 62 RBI in 463 plate appearances. His offensive stats were his worst since an abnormally-bad 2014 campaign.
The 34-15 Red Sox have baseball’s best record. Eduardo Nunez has mostly been handling second base in Pedroia’s place, hitting a disappointing .243/.261/.361 in 177 trips to the plate. He has also, by most metrics, played subpar defense at the position, so getting Pedroia back will be a boon.