The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed catcher John Baker off waivers from the San Diego Padres on Saturday, in a move first reported by MLB Network's Peter Gammons. The 32-year old, who was designated for assignment by San Diego on Monday, was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Dodgers had an open spot on the 40-man roster after they designated catcher Ramon Hernandez for assignment on Friday to make room for A.J. Ellis, who is returning from injury. While Ellis and backup Tim Federowicz will handle major league catching duties, Baker will likely split time in Albuquerque with Matt Wallach. Recently-signed backstop J.R. Towles, who is with Albuquerque, will miss significant time after requiring surgery on his injured thumb, creating the need for a second catcher at Triple-A.
In sixteen games for the Padres on the season, Baker has hit .150 with 2 RBI in 46 plate appearances. With Yasmani Grandal back from his suspension and Nick Hundley manning the backup role, San Diego decided to part ways with Baker to create a 40-man roster space for Logan Forsythe, who was activated off the 60-day disabled list.
In six major league seasons with the Marlins (2008-2011) and Padres (2012-2012), Baker is a lifetime .258 hitter with 14 HR and 105 RBI.