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Scott Baker ready to prove he belongs for Cubs

Scott Baker has been recovering from Tommy John surgery since April.

Ronald Martinez

The Chicago Cubs and Scott Baker agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday, and Baker is ready to make an immediate impact. The veteran righty is recovering from Tommy John surgery that kept him out of action for all of the 2012 season. Baker had the procedure in mid-April, and it usually takes pitchers at least a year to recover. "I have every intention of being a competitive pitcher next year, right away," Baker said.

Baker's recovery schedule has him on track to be ready right around the time of spring training. He hopes to be part of the Opening Day starting rotation.

Baker had been with the Minnesota Twins for his entire career. Over seven seasons, the Louisiana native amassed 770 strikeouts in 958 innings, with a 4.15 ERA. He has a career record of 63-48.

Paul Maholm followed a similar path last season with the Cubs. He had played his whole career with the Pirates, but his 2011 season was cut short due to injury. The change of scenery was beneficial, and Maholm had a successful 2012 campaign, though he was dealt to the Braves at the trade deadline.