It seems that the Yankees offseason isn't over just yet. With Chris Capuano pencilled in as the fifth starter right now and the unreliable Bryan Mitchell and recovering Ivan Nova the only two pitchers available as realistic backups, the Yankees have decided to bring in another player into the mix.
#Yankees become latest team to try to reclaim value from veteran RHP Scott Baker, signing him to minor league deal, like #Rangers last year.— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) January 30, 2015
Scott Baker is a 33-year-old right-handed pitcher who once performed at an above-average level before injuries wrecked his career over the past few seasons. Baker had Tommy John surgery in 2012, missing the entire season and almost all of 2013 before making an underwhelming return in 2014. I previously identified him as a potential rebound candidate that the Yankees should consider signing, even if he's not a perfect fit:
As a big fly ball pitcher he won't make the most sense, but he's not going to get in anyone's way and could be useful in case of an emergency. At his best, Baker could be an alternative to Chris Capuano.
I would have preferred Chad Billingsley, but neither will likely be too much of a factor for the 2015 season. Baker will get an invite to spring training and be a solid addition to the Triple-A rotation if he's healthy. He's one example that Tommy John isn't always 100% successful, so we'll see. Nonetheless, it's a solid signing on a minor league deal.
Don't worry, Yankees fans, he won't be blocking anyone in the organization because he's no sure thing himself. Best case scenario is he's completely healthy and offers a solid fifth starter for the Yankees to rely on if Capuano and Nova don't work out.