08/31/12 9:35 PM ET
Braves acquire utility infielder Baker from Tigers
By Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
Baker, 31, was designated for assignment by the Tigers earlier in the day. Atlanta general manager Frank Wren said when he saw that transaction, he immediately contacted Dave Dombrowski, his counterpart in Detroit. Wren had been looking to upgrade the Braves' bench and give manager Fredi Gonzalez another right-handed-hitting option.
"Obviously we're a left-handed-hitting dominant team and one of things we've been trying to do is get a little more balance and get another right-handed bat," Wren said.
In his eight-year career, Baker has hit .298 with a .505 slugging percentage against left-handers.
Baker is hitting .254 with four home runs this year. He was traded to the Tigers by the Cubs on Aug. 5 for two players to be named. Since that deal, Baker was just 7-for-35, leading to Detroit's decision to designate him.
Wren said the Braves are hopeful a return to the National League, where Baker had spent his career before going to the Tigers, will be beneficial.
"Jeff had primarily been [an] NL guy his whole career and going to the American League, he didn't have the same success," Wren said. "That was also part of our thinking, getting him back here to this league where he's experienced with these pitchers and these parks."
Baker has played first base, second base, third base and left and right field. He has seen the most action this year in right field, but most of his experience has been at second base.
Baker was driving from Detroit to his home in northern Virginia when Wren called him after the trade was completed. Baker is hopeful he will be able to fly to Atlanta in time for Saturday's 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Phillies.
Friday night at midnight ET is the deadline for players to be acquired from outside an organization and still be eligible for the postseason. Wren said the Braves have no more trade talks in the works.
Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.