As we continue to exist in this lockout void, I have found myself perusing the free agent lists. I know the current big time names (and some not so big time) almost by heart. That brings me to the potential return (or re-return?) of Brett Anderson to Oakland.
Before you say anything, I’m just letting my imagination run wild as we continue to wait. Let’s just see what this FA might offer.
Brett Anderson was once an exciting A’s prospect
Anderson was a highly anticipated A’s pitching prospect following his trade from the Diamondbacks in 2009. He broke the A’s single-season rookie strikeout record, 32 years after Rick Langford in 1977, and finished 6th in ROY voting.
After signing a four-year, $12.5 million extension, he posted a 2.8 ERA in 2010. It seemed like Anderson was fulfilling the expectation before Tommy John halted his 2011 season.
Despite a long rehab, and another injury, he pitched six scoreless innings against Detroit in a 2012 Division Series game. He was also the 2013 Opening Day starter, but faced another injury down the stretch.
Brett Anderson has already made a return to Oakland
Following the 2013 season, Anderson became somewhat of a journeyman. He bounced around, first traded to the Rockies then the Dodgers, Cubs, and Blue Jays over the next five years. In 2018, he came back to the A’s on a minor league deal and made it back on the major league roster, but faced another injury.
On top of the lengthy injury history, Anderson recorded the lowest strikeouts per 9 and strikeout percentage in the majors in 2019. From there, he was with Milwaukee where he posted a 4.21 ERA in 2021.
Does he have any place in the A’s organization?
I doubt that Anderson is at the top of Oakland’s to do list but he shouldn’t be overlooked. He currently ranks 10th in ground ball percentage, sitting at 58.2%. If the A’s can sure up some spots in the in-field, Anderson could be a late inning addition to get some quick outs.
It could be worth it to extend a 1 year minor league deal and see if he’d be useful in these situations.
His injury history also makes me hesitate. It’s the nagging, random injuries that worry me. Just as Anderson would gain momentum, he was back on the IL with an oblique strain or sprained ankle. That’s absolutely something else the A’s cannot afford in 2022.
But, hey, if we’re in lockout dreamland right now, why not imagine a Cinderella story to finish out this 33-year-old’s career.