ATLANTA -- When the Tigers designated Jeff Baker for assignment Friday afternoon, it began a nervous few hours for the 31-year old utility player. With midnight on Aug. 31 approaching fast, he knew he had only a few hours to latch on with another team if he was to be eligible for its playoff roster.
So when Baker learned he had been traded to the Braves just a few hours later, he was more than pleasantly surprised.
"When I found out I was coming here, I was really excited," Baker said. "A team that's leading the Wild Card, and on top of that, a class organization."
Baker entered Sunday's finale with the Phillies hitting .253 with a .406 slugging percentage in 70 games between the Cubs, Tigers and Braves this season. He made his Braves debut in Saturday's 5-1 loss, striking out against left-hander Cliff Lee in the seventh inning.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez will likely continue to deploy Baker in a similar role the rest of the season. Baker, a right-handed hitter, is a career .298 hitter against left-handers and can play all four corner positions, as well as second base.
"I'm ready for anything, and I've always been that way," Baker said. "I'm not really expecting anything, and whatever happens, happens."