BOSTON -- The Yankees loss is the Rangers gain. Those were the two teams that competed to the end to sign infielder Jeff Baker.
The Rangers won and Baker has become a big part of their team. He started at third base for the second straight game on Tuesday while Adrian Beltre is sidelined with a strained left hamstring and is hitting .333 (19-for-57) with five home runs.
"The Rangers and the Yankees were the main two," Baker said. "A lot of teams knocked on the door, but the opportunity wasn't there or it wasn't the most ideal fit."
The Yankees might have been the better fit because of all their injuries. They have had four different players start at both first and third base. They also have started five different right fielders. But Baker chose the Rangers even though they appeared to have a set lineup at every position.
"The bottom line is guys need a day off and at the time, it seemed like they had some [left-handed hitters] that might need a blow," Baker said. "I just liked the fit. Choosing either team was a win-win situation. Both organizations are at the top of their divisions, both have winning pedigrees and a history of winning and both had managers and coaching staffs you could trust. The last thing for a veteran like me is you don't want to be stuck on a young team that's rebuilding."
Baker, who is represented by Scott Boras, signed a Minor League contract with the Rangers and made the team out of Spring Training. He is a free agent after the season.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.