Blue Jays Trade Candidate: Jeff Baker could add depth


The left side of the Blue Jays infield is all but set in stone. Josh Donaldson and Jose Reyes will man their posts for a majority of the season. To me it feels like the right side has some competition brewing. Most likely without any changes the 2B will be Maicer Izturis while 1B will be Justin Smoak and Chris Colabello.

Jeff Baker is someone who would round out this group nicely. First, let’s talk money. Jeff is due to earn $2.1 million plus incentives. He is in his final year of his contract, which will have an added sense of flexibility with his deal entering next season. Given his performance and play time you can tell he is a Scott Boras client. Still, I think it is an okay price for what Jeff can bring to the table.

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On to the meat and potatoes, or given the time of year, the turkey and gravy. Jeff Baker is a ball player. He can and will man many positions if the need is there. He could be called a jack of all trades but a master of none. While he does play a few positions he does not excel at any of them. In his 10 year career the veteran journeyman has played for 6 teams and manned 5 different spots in the field. All of that while maintaining a career WAR of 1.0.

While his age is catching up to him he can still contribute to any team he is on. For years Jeff Baker has been described as a blue collar player. He has an infectious hustle that teammates and fans alike both enjoy watching on the field. Not just his work ethic but his attitude does have positive effects in the clubhouse as well. These characteristics are invaluable when it comes to building a winning team in MLB.

Now to the best part about Jeff Baker. He is a monster when it comes to hitting left handed pitching. Last year with the Marlins he had a .319 BA and .824 OPS against lefties. This was not an anomaly either as he has been able to do this year after year. In his career he has 870 at bats versus lefties and has been able to put forth a .301 BA and .868 OPS. The man can flat out hit south paws.

Knowing that Jeff can field multiple spots means he can be used as a pinch hitter and to fill in when regulars need a day off. He isn’t someone to fill in long term when an injury comes up but he is depth on the bench and that is always a good thing. With all of this said, he could come fairly cheap via a trade with the Marlins.