After initially saying they planned to use him as a reliever the Cubs have switched course and will give Scott Baker a start Sunday against the Brewers.
It’ll be Baker’s first game action in the majors since 2011, as he missed all of last season and nearly all of this season following Tommy John elbow surgery.
He wasn’t very effective while rehabbing in the minors, posting a 5.46 ERA and 16/10 K/BB ratio in 30 innings while allowing opponents to hit .297 and reports of Baker’s velocity had him working mostly in the mid-80s. In other words, it might get ugly Sunday.
Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris of The Athletic report that the Mets and free agent starter Rick Porcello have agreed on a one-year contract. Per Jon Heyman, the deal is for $10 million.
Porcello, 30, is coming off of the worst season of his career. Though he went 14-12, he compiled an ugly 5.52 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 45 walks over 174 1/3 innings. It has been a rough three years for Porcello, who has an aggregate 4.79 ERA since 2017.
The benefit of this one-year deal for Porcello is that, if he has a bounce-back season, he can potentially leverage that into a multi-year contract next offseason.
The Mets also signed Michael Wacha to a one-year, $3 million deal on Wednesday. The rotation already features Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz. Unless the Mets trade one of those four, they will seemingly have to use one of Porcello and Wacha out of the bullpen to start the 2020 season with the odd man out serving as rotation insurance.