Jeff Baker has agreed to a two-year contract worth a guaranteed $3.7 million with the Miami Marlins, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person confirmed an agreement to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the Marlins hadn't announced a deal.
In addition to the guaranteed money, Baker can earn $500,000 more in bonuses each season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported.
While the .267 career hitter may not be a marquee free agent, Baker is a great fit on paper for the Marlins and their current roster. With Garrett Jones at first base, the team was in need of a guy who could hit lefthanded pitching. Jones has struggled mightily against southpaws in his career while Baker has been the opposite. Against lefthanders in his career, Baker has a .353 on-base percentage and a .522 slugging percentage. These are outstanding numbers which should translate well in Miami if the team goes with a platoon approach at first base.
Not only can Baker play first base, but he has played third base as well which could come in handy should Casey McGehee struggle to get going in his return to America. Baker also has some experience at second base, left field and right field, making him a premium utility option. He also can simply sit on the bench and be asked to come up in a big pinch-hit spot. There is some power in Baker's bat as he amassed 11 home runs in only 74 games during 2013, when he batted .279 for the season.
Power and offense in general is something that the Marlins have been addressing all offseason after struggles in that department last season.
Baker played with the Texas Rangers in 2013 and previously made stops in Colorado, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta, according to Baseball-Reference.com.