Scott Baker, released by the Seattle Mariners on Monday (March 24), could sign with another MLB soon. Baker asked the Mariners to release him so he would have some time to find that new team before Opening Day. According to a report from MLB.com on Monday night, the M's offered him a spot on the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers but he declined.
Baker started four game for the M's this spring, allowing 12 runs on 16 hits and seven walks over just 12 innings of work. He also struck out only one hitter, showing that he might not be quite ready to return from surgery. He allowed opponents to post a .302 batting average and had a WHIP of 1.92. Those numbers just didn't stack up well against the other candidates for the starting rotation and the front office was ready to look in a different direction.
When the team brought in Scott Baker on a minor league contract, they were simply taking a chance that he might return to the form that was pretty good earlier in his career. He had flashes of his old self, but also had a lot of trouble staying ahead of hitters in the count. His departure will immediately come as good news to the likes of Blake Beavan, Randy Wolf, and Roenis Elias when it comes to competing for two spots in the starting rotation.
The team has to figure out who will join Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, and Erasmo Ramirez on Opening Day in the rotation. The fourth and fifth players in the rotation might only be there short term, though, as Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma are expected back before too long.
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