One possible big-time bench bat for the Texas Rangers in 2014 is no longer with the club, as Jeff Baker signed a contract with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, inking a deal worth $3.7 million over two years, according to the New York Post.
Baker was a possibility to fill a bench role for the Rangers, similiar to what he did last year for the club when he ended up being one of the Rangers' few power bats that especially killed left-handed pitching until he went off the rails following a freak hand injury after a high-five gone wrong that required surgery.
Baker has played for six teams in the past five years and hit .279 with 11 homers and a .905 OPS in 175 plate appearances for the Rangers last year. His home run/per at bat ratio was through the roof for a good part of the year, right up there with Babe Ruth-type numbers. Of course, it was over a much smaller sample size, and when Baker played more his numbers trailed off. But he was a great bench bat who will be missed as a guy who could play several different positions and be a DH option against lefties.