The Detroit Tigers' search for a right handed bat to bring off the bench came to an end this afternoon.
The Tigers have acquired IF/OF Jeff Baker from the Chicago Cubs for two minor league PTBNL before 10/31/12— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 5, 2012
No corresponding roster move will be announced until the end of today's game, though I'm thinking just recalled Danny Worth shouldn't unpack his bags. (The Tigers confirmed the roster move after today's win, Worth drawing the expected short straw and was optioned back to Toledo)
Baker is is a 31 year old right-hand hitting utility man with 8 years of MLB experience, all in the National League. A career .270 hitter, Baker has spent the last 4 seasons as a platoon player with the Cubs. In 54 games this season, Baker is hitting .269 with a .753 OPS, 4 home runs and 20 RBI while primarily playing 1B and RF. He has also made appearances at 2B and LF this season, with previous experience as a 3B as well. As to his contract status, Baker is making $1.375MM and is in the final year of his deal.
It's Baker's ability to hit left-handed pitching which has the Tigers intrigued. Baker is hitting .275 with with a .753 OPS in 2012 against southpaws,.304 and .869 for his career.
So what does this trade mean to the status of Ryan Raburn, whom Baker will be replacing as the primary right hand hitting bench bat? Nothing. If necessary, the Tigers can keep Raburn on the DL until rosters expand on September 1st.