With the World Series underway, various MLB clubs begin accepting and declining options on important players as free agency draws near. The Minnesota Twins started that process yesterday, announcing that relief pitcher Matt Capps will not return on a club option for next season. View yesterday’s post the Twins decision not to retain Capps, here.
Another key player with a club option for the 2013 season on the Minnesota roster is starting pitcher, Scott Baker. Baker holds a hefty $9.5 million club option for next season, following an injury plagued season last year. Baker resumed throwing in October, following Tommy John surgery in April.
Baker, 31, was drafted by Minnesota in the second round of the 2003 MLB draft and has been in the Twins organization ever since. He’s started 159 games for the Twins over his career, earning 63 wins and posting a 4.15 ERA.
Starting pitching will be a big priority for Minnesota this off-season with Scott Diamond as the only starter guaranteed to be in the rotation next season. The Twins will likely target three starters for the rotation this winter, but could bring back Baker and veteran Carl Pavano, who is slated to become a free agent unless the Twins resign him.
Minnesota should decline his club option and then attempt to sign him to a short term deal, likely a one or two year contract. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Baker won’t receive close to $9.5 million per season from any club, making the Twins a viable option. He’s pitched for Minnesota his whole career and the Twins would like him back according to Phil Mackey of ESPN.