Cubs Sign OF Ryan Kalish and C John Baker to Minor League Deals

The Cubs announced on Friday, along with the signing of utility man Ryan Roberts, they signed both outfielder Ryan Kalish and catcher John Baker to minor league contracts that includes non-roster invites to Spring Training.

John Baker played in 16 games for the Padres last season. Baker managed a .150/.261/.150 slash line in his second and final year in San Diego. The veteran catcher likes working with young pitchers and spent time with Brandon Hyde in 2010 and 2011 while he was with the Marlins.

Baker is 32 years old and over his six year big league career he put together a .258/.342/.364/.705 line.

When the Red Sox decided to non-tender Ryan Kalish, it was a given he would end up signing a contract with the Cubs. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod selected Kalish in the ninth round of the 2006 draft.

Ryan Kalish is only 25 years old but has dealt with injuries that has derailed his career. Kalish has had surgeries to his neck and shoulder within the last two years. Kalish missed the entire 2013 season and last played for the Sox in 2012. Kalish managed a .229/.272/.260/.532 line in 36 games in 2012.

Reports from the Boston media question if the lefty hitting Ryan Kalish will be healthy enough to play in 2014.

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  • BosephHeyden

    If Kalish winds up being healthy enough to play, he might be a curious addition.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      yeah…his 2010 stats hint at speed. Not sure if any of his injuries slowed his step though…

    • jtrain23

      I would love to see him reach his potential as a Cub. Neck and shoulder injuries/surgeries are difficult to overcome and scary, however. It could really affect his strength and range of motion

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Looks like Theo learned his lesson from the Crawford / Lackey FA days…….Bargain Basement Days will be the norm for the next two years for the Cubs.

  • 07GreyDigger

    I like John Baker. He was a solid hitter for a couple of seasons who hasn’t found his stroke again, but if he can, he’ll be a much better backup catcher than Kottoras.

    • cubtex

      He has absolutely zero pop. I think Campana would beat him in a home run hitting contest. No offense Paul :)

      • paulcatanese

        None taken. All of these non roster invites looks like last year, fodder for intra squad games in spring training.

    • cubtex

      You must be thinking of John Buck digger. This is John Baker.

  • mutantbeast

    Baker is a non-entity. Sort of like Barney offensively and not a top-notch defender, maybe slightly above avg with catch/throw. Kalish might have value, but shoulder injuries are always a concern