Well, he won’t miss the entire season (yet), but the news on Scott Baker isn’t exactly good.
The long-awaited evaluation of Baker’s “sore” elbow turned up a strain (which is technically a tear, though it could be a minor one), and he’s been shut down for at least the next month. He won’t start throwing until the end of April at the earliest, which means there’s no realistic way he could be pitching in Chicago until well into June.
Any thoughts you may have had about flipping Baker can now fade from your mind. If he returns, a flip is impossible, and the best you can hope for is a solid second half that yields a team-friendly extension going forward. I suppose you could also hope for a second half return to a team surprisingly in contention, but … well …
This means that a Travis Wood or a Carlos Villanueva could end up earning a rotation spot for the whole first half of the season. Maybe that’ll end up being a good thing long-term.
In any event, this is the thing with picking up guys like Baker. You can get a Tommy John recoveree on a short-term, low-dollar deal, but that’s because there’s a risk he won’t be the same guy or won’t pitch for you at all. It was worth the shot for a team not expected to be competitive.