O's Baker Aims To Shed Pounds





BALTIMORE—First baseman Aaron Baker, acquired from the Pirates at the trade deadline for veteran Derrek Lee, figures that he can increase his chances of playing for the Orioles by reducing his waistline.

Baker told MASNsports.com that he wants to play at 220-225 pounds next season after tipping the scales at 240-245 over the summer.

"After some down time, I want to get back to working out and focus on my diet," he said. "I want to show up for spring training looking like a new guy. I really want to be able to prove myself in this organization. I want to slim down. . . . I've gained a little weight over the last few years and need to get back into the good habits of eating right and working out properly to maximize my athletic ability.

"I want to drop about 15 to 20 pounds, which is definitely doable. It will take a lot of hard work. Going to try a few things this offseason and see what happens."

Baker, 24, reported to high Class A Frederick after the trade and batted .386/.472/.591 with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 44 at-bats. He stumbled after moving up to Double-A Bowie, hitting .196/.188/.239 with two doubles and three RBIs in 46 at-bats.

"It was definitely a learning experience," Baker said. "I got to watch a lot of good players play. Got to watch Joe Mahoney and see how he prepared for each night. Something to look forward to in the future."

Baker, an 11th-round pick in 2009 out of Oklahoma, learned about the trade from a friend who was tracking all the rumors.

"I was really surprised," Baker said. "I had no idea I was being traded. I actually found out through my best friend. He was keeping up with the talks at the time and said he saw the Pirates were about to get Derrek Lee for an A-ball hitter. He asked if I was that guy and I said I hadn't heard of anything, but I ended up being that guy."

Bird Seed

• Mahoney missed the first 10 games of the Arizona Fall League season because of an oblique strain. In his debut, he drove in four runs and committed four errors for the Mesa Solar Sox. He went 8-for-19 in his first three games.

• Righthanders Jeremy Accardo and Mitch Atkins refused their outright assignments to Triple-A Norfolk and became free agents. Accardo went 3-3, 5.73 in 38 innings with the Orioles, and 1-1, 2.16 in 26 appearances with Norfolk. Atkins was 4-10, 4.85 in 130 innings with three affiliates, and 0-0, 8.44 in three starts covering 11 innings with the Orioles.