The Texas Rangers have signed utility man Jeff Baker to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, according to Drew Davidson of the Star-Telegram. The 31 year old Baker gives the Rangers some additional depth in the infield and an other right-handed hitter for their bench should they need it.
Baker has played with four teams in his eight year career. He came up with the Rockies in 2005 as a third baseman, but he soon made a place for himself on their roster as a versatile bench player, filling in at first, second, third and in the outfield corners in his time with the Rockies and then with the Cubs.
Last season, Chicago traded Baker to Detroit for a player to be named later on August 5. He played in 15 games for the American League champs before being shipped to Atlanta on August 31 for a player to be named later. Baker is a career .266/.316/.428 hitter.
The Rangers will give Baker a chance to earn one of their final bench spots this spring, Davidson notes, competing against youngsters like Leury Garcia, Yangervis Solarte and Brandon Snyder. Adding Baker to this mix gives the Rangers a more experienced option in case these young players should need more development time.