Here are five things that we think sum up the legacy of Scott Baker with the Twins. By now, you likely know he signed a one-year deal today with the Cubs.
1) It feels like he's been hurt more than he has. And it feels like he was less effective than he really was. From 2008-2011, Baker averaged 28 starts, 12 wins and an ERA under 4. He wasn't a strikeout pitcher, but he wasn't a classic "pitch to contact" guy, either. He could miss a bat.
2) If you are going to miss Baker, it is probably more a testament to how desperate you are for the prospect of competent pitching. Because even if those 2008-11 numbers were good, they weren't great. And they're not enough to offset the chance that he might be much worse as he tries to come back from Tommy John surgery in 2013.
3) It's a shame he was hurt when he was because Baker could have thrived in Target Field. He was having a very good season in 2011 (3.14 ERA) before shutting it down. He's a fly ball pitcher with a 1.2 HR/9 innings rate, but that was down to 1 per 9 in 2011.
4) For some reason, we don't know why, we never felt great about the prospects of winning when Baker was on the mound. Did others feel the same way? It doesn't make much sense considering the numbers show he was a competent pitcher with a career record 15 games over .500.
5) In the end, we can't tell if Baker was over-rated, under-rated or properly rated. We don't know whether to shrug our shoulders and say "good riddance" or fear that it's a case of "don't know what you've got 'til it's gone."