Resigning Jeff Baker Would Be Great News for the Texas Rangers

Jul 19, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Jeff Baker (15) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring a run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

That’s right.

Great. News.

Jeff Baker who started in only 44 games last season. Jeff Baker who batted a modest .279 along with 11 HRs and 21 RBI. This looks all fine and dandy but it’s pretty far from “great”.

But consider this:

  • Baker played 6 different positions as a utility player last season. He played DH, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, LF and RF. That’s pretty versatile.
  • Baker was injured halfway through the season. Before his injury Baker batted .317, 9HRs, and 16 RBI. That’s impressive numbers for anyone in 92 games. Let alone a utility player.
  • When not pulling spot duty around the field, Baker could serve as the primary DH against left handed pitching. Something this club needs badly.

The signing isn’t yet a done-deal but according to Gerry Fraley at DMN, both sides are interested. He would help ease the burden (and hedge bets) on Mitch Moreland‘s future with the team. Moreland could still be the primary DH and occasional 1B, while Jeff Baker takes over at DH against lefties and as a utility man around the field. Both should be able to earn meaningful playing time and at-bats in 2014. This has been an excellent offseason for the Rangers.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Topics: Jeff Baker, Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers

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