CHICAGO — Scott Baker wants to establish that he can still be an effective pitcher after having elbow surgery, and he’ll get his chance with the Chicago Cubs.
The 31-year-old righty agreed Tuesday to a one-year deal that guarantees him $5.5 million next season. He could earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses.
Baker became a free agent after the Twins declined their $9.25 million option last month. With the Cubs, he gets a $150,000 bonus for reaching 145 innings and an additional $150,000 for every five innings he pitches after that up to 190.
Baker was 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA with Minnesota from 2005-11. He underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery April 17 and missed last season after being limited to 23 appearances (21 starts) in 2011, but he thinks he’ll be ready for the start of spring training.
source: Marlins trade
3 stars to Blue Jays
MIAMI — The Miami Marlins’ spending spree a year ago didn’t work, so now they’re trying another payroll purge, shedding some of their biggest stars and their multimillion-dollar salaries in one blockbuster deal.
Rebranded in a new ballpark at the start of 2012, the Marlins were up to their old ways Tuesday, swapping high-priced talent for top prospects. Miami traded All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, left-hander Mark Buehrle and ace right-hander Josh Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays, a person familiar with the agreement said.
The person confirmed the trade to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams weren’t officially commenting. The person said the trade sent several of the Blue Jays’ best young players to Miami.
The stunning agreement came less than a year after the Marlins added Reyes, Buehrle and closer Heath Bell in an uncharacteristic $191 million spending binge as they moved into a new ballpark. The acquisitions raised high hopes, but the Marlins instead finished last in the NL East.
RHP Kyle McClellan
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals have released veteran reliever Kyle McClellan, a St. Louis County native who spent five seasons with the team.
McClellan appeared in just 16 games in 2012 because of elbow and shoulder problems. He was 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA.
The Cardinals also announced Tuesday the signing of catcher Rob Johnson to a minor league contract. Johnson is a career .201 hitter. He hit .250 in 17 games with the Mets in 2012.
Phillies agree to deal with 3B Frandsen
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to an $850,000, one-year contract with third baseman Kevin Frandsen.
The Phillies announced the move on Tuesday. Frandsen had been eligible for salary arbitration.
Frandsen hit .338 with 10 doubles, 14 RBI and a .383 on-base percentage in 55 games last season.
He also hit .302 in 99 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Frandsen is a .267 career hitter in 283 games with San Francisco and the Los Angeles Angels.