Braves acquire utility player Baker from Detroit

Looking for more right-handed hitting to add to their bench, the Braves acquired utility player Jeff Baker after he’d been designated for assignment Friday by Detroit, for a player to be named or cash considerations.

By making the trade before midnight Friday, Baker would be eligible to play on the Braves postseason roster.

Baker, 31, has batted .254 (43-for-169) with four home runs and 24 RBI in 69 games with the Tigers and Chicago Cubs this season. He has hit .298 (189-for-634) in his career against left-handers, including .248 (29-for-117) with 10 doubles and three home runs this season.

“We’re a left-handed hitting dominant team,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “And one of the things we’ve been trying to do is get a little more balance and get another right-handed bat….We seem to get a lot of not only left-handed starters but left-handed relievers stacked up late in a game because of all our left-handed hitters. It gives Fredi (Gonzalez) another option to go to to balance out the lineup a little bit.”

During the course of his career, Baker has played second base (153 games), third base (89 games), first base (89 games), right field (65 games) and left field (11 games). He’s played all five positions this season, primarily right field (25 games) and first base (20).

This is Baker’s second trade within a month. He hit only .200 in 15 games for the Tigers, but Wren said the Braves are hoping he’ll be buoyed by a return to the National League.

“That was also part of our thinking,” Wren said. “Get him back here in this league where he’s experienced with these pitchers and these parks and hopefully he’ll be the same hitter he’s been.”

Baker was drafted out of Clemson in the fourth round by the Rockies in 2002 and has played the better part of his eight seasons with the Rockies and Cubs.

The Braves are hoping he can join the team in Atlanta on Saturday, but Baker was driving from Detroit to his home in northern Virginia on Friday evening when the trade was made.

“I said, ‘Well I-75 runs from Detroit to Atlanta,” Wren said. “Get on I-75 you can’t go wrong.”

31 comments Add your comment

Curious

August 31st, 2012
9:07 pm

Just curious why there is a “trade deadline” earlier in the season at the end of July but then there are still trades after that and the players are eligible for the postseason?

David from Athens, AL

August 31st, 2012
9:08 pm

MikeD.

August 31st, 2012
9:15 pm

@curious

Before the trade deadline, teams can make non-waivers trades versus after the deadline each club have to approve the trade.

Kenny R

August 31st, 2012
9:18 pm

@Curious For players to be traded after the deadline they have to be claimed by the team on waivers The team will claim the player and the team which owns the player can work out a trade with the team , award the player to the team, or bring him off of waivers and keep him.

Curious

August 31st, 2012
9:23 pm

OK. I think I understand, but I still don’t get why such a big deal is made during the July deadline if a trade like the Dodgers/Red Sox one can still happen.

DetroitBraves

August 31st, 2012
9:37 pm

Baker didn’t hit much here after the Tigers got him from Chicago but Detroit likes to ask players to do things they’ve proven they can’t (like giving him too many at-bats against righties), get mad at them when they predictably don’t do what they can’t do (go figure), and then banish them to the minor leagues or another club rather than let them do what they can do well for their own, big league club. It’s a decent gamble for Atlanta. He hit lefties well as recently as last year.

Bill

August 31st, 2012
9:39 pm

Welcome back to the southeast Jeff Baker!!! Clemson fans will be excited to have you closeby.

Bronke

August 31st, 2012
9:48 pm

3 guys need to get going desperately, Heyward, Bourn, and McCann. Come on guys. McCann has to start Producing or tell Fredi he needs to be removed. The Braves need all the fire power they can get down the stretch!

gcs

August 31st, 2012
10:14 pm

What is the purpose of this trade? This guy is a freakin’ 31-year old bum.

What a waste of a prospect.

Biff Pocoroba

August 31st, 2012
10:45 pm

This team is done. Wren keeps picking up .230 hitters while the team can’t hit a lick anymore. Kimbrel looks like he is going to fall apart at the end of the year once again. Martinez is awful but Fredi keeps running him out there to blow game after game. The Braves only hope is to fire Fredi before September but with only one hour left, I guess all we can do is sit back and be thankful that football has started.

Biff Pocoroba

August 31st, 2012
10:45 pm

This team is done. Wren keeps picking up .230 hitters while the team can’t hit a lick anymore. Kimbrel looks like he is going to fall apart at the end of the year once again. Martinez is awful but Fredi keeps running him out there to blow game after game. The Braves only hope is to fire Fredi before September but with only one hour left, I guess all we can do is sit back and be thankful that football has started.

Biff Pocoroba

August 31st, 2012
10:45 pm

This team is done. Wren keeps picking up .230 hitters while the team can’t hit a lick anymore. Kimbrel looks like he is going to fall apart at the end of the year once again. Martinez is awful but Fredi keeps running him out there to blow game after game. The Braves only hope is to fire Fredi before September but with only one hour left, I guess all we can do is sit back and be thankful that football has started.

Ken Stallings

August 31st, 2012
10:46 pm

Did everyone enjoy that kick in the junk in the tenth!

Ken Stallings

August 31st, 2012
10:49 pm

Curious,

The waiver process allows teams to claim a player off waivers in inverse order of record (worst getting first crack). Prior to the trade deadline, any teams can work a trade without having to use the waiver process. In other words, it gives teams a certain degree of veto power after the deadline passes.

BravesfaninWis

August 31st, 2012
10:52 pm

This team is a joke. Look up at the scoreboard losers, the Nats pounded the Cardinals, and you had the lead twice in this game just to cough it up and lose. Do everyone a favor and save yourselves and the city of Atlanta the embarrassment of choking again. Lord knows we have seen this same old song and dance from you posers before. Later chokers.

NORRIS CHUCK

August 31st, 2012
10:58 pm

Here they go folks. Just what and see.

GoNatsGo

August 31st, 2012
10:59 pm

NORRIS CHUCK

August 31st, 2012
11:04 pm

Choke time folks. They are thinking about last year. they would be lying if they said they werent. As i said last year and this year, the way this team is constructed, they could possibly repeat what they did last year.

People, lets get ready for another let down.

Playoffs!!!

August 31st, 2012
11:15 pm

“We seem to get a lot of lefthanded starters and left-handed relievers stacked up against us..” Wren said..
No s***, Sherlock, you are the architect of this flawed team.. Don’t act surprised. You should know.

G

August 31st, 2012
11:24 pm

Awesome another 200 hitter with no power. Frank Wren strikes again

angelo

September 1st, 2012
1:26 am

Is Baker the man who will avoid our collapse?
Oh Frank you are so smart.

Nevada Roy

September 1st, 2012
1:38 am

Maybe the player to be named later will be Uggla?

Brave Decisions

September 1st, 2012
2:19 am

September call ups http://wp.me/p2lqJ1-cX Will post on Baker shortly.

EC Bob

September 1st, 2012
10:25 am

What, Rafael Belliard wasn’t available? This is going to give Fredi more options? Really? To do what add another .200 hitter to our roster? Awesome. I’ve got to hand it to your Frank, you truly have the pulse of what Fredi is looking for, more .200 hitters. I can’t wait for the inevitable “but he gives us lots of defensive options” line.

If this team makes the playoffs it will have to come on the backs of Freeman, Heyward, Bourn, Jones and Prado. The two guys at the top of this mess look clueless.

[...] Acquired utility player Jeff Baker. [...]

The Braves

September 1st, 2012
11:31 am

We can’t breathe – there is something caught in our throats – we are ………..

The Braves

September 1st, 2012
11:31 am

ijudgenot

September 1st, 2012
11:40 am

What a joke when you got guys in the minors who won’t get a call up because of the addition of these journeymen( Overby and Baker). Fans know Wren does not have money to trade for a big time right handed hitter. I would not so much mind if Fredi was a hit and run, move runnners along with the bunt, use speed as a weapon manager, but he is not that. He is a Cox clone that waits for the three run homer. Neither of these guys will give the team that so the hits they get will probably be waisted with them standing on first. Give the fans an exciting team next year Wren with a new manager that will utilize sped and the basics of bunting runner over.

braves country

September 1st, 2012
3:26 pm

These comments on here really disgust me…… You all call urselves fans?????

Denny Lemaster

September 1st, 2012
4:07 pm

Well braves country, stay disgusted. If you continue to suck up to this losing bunch, buy tickets, buy their gear and get this same sorry results year after year after year, then welcome to the Cubs. Even the Pirates made moves this year to improve their team. What did the Braves do? Add broken down, over the hill, released players that nobody else wanted. Do you follow blindly until you fall off the cliff? Until the Atlanta managment is HELD accountable by the fans, then this is all you will get. Until fans say, NO, we are not paying for this mess any longer, then they will continue to put this sorry product on the field and call it a major league team. Get real. 15 so called division titles led to ONE WS win. ONE! Since that run ended, they have been nothing.

Jack

September 2nd, 2012
8:27 am

Replace Uggla with somebody…ANYBODY.

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