Tim Anderson won't solve the Oakland Athletics problems

The former all-star shortstop was rumored as a potential fit for the Oakland A's. Here's why it doesn't make sense.
Sep 5, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) fields a ball
Sep 5, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) fields a ball / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

While rumors swirl around the Giants and their potential free agent additions, Oakland Athletics fans wallow in the dregs of names like Tim Anderson. The former all-star shortstop was rumored to be a potential fit for the A’s after the White Sox declined their team option for $14 million.

White Sox GM Chris Getz spoke of Anderson at the GM meetings, saying “He's earned the right to see if there's a better opportunity for him”. Getz mentioned that the White Sox would be open to bringing Anderson back if the deal were right for both sides.

MLB Trade Rumors has Anderson pegged for a one-year contract worth $12 million, and as a potential fit in Oakland. A one-year prove it deal makes sense for him, as teams will likely be unwilling to commit long-term money to a player coming off such a rough season. There are a few teams that could use a middle infielder, the A’s chief among them.

The A's need a shortstop, but Tim Anderson isn't the answer

Anderson made just over $12 million in 2023 and had by far the worst season of his career. He hit just .245/.286/.296 with a single home run and 13 steals. The former batting title champion hadn’t been anywhere close to that bad since 2018.

Anderson has also been dealing with the allegations of an extramarital affair that has seemingly leaked into his on-field performance. Anderson spoke publicly about the issue for the first time in June of this year, but his play never improved.

The main issue with Anderson is that the contract prediction will outside the A’s budget. If the A’s are going to spend money in free agency, they’d be wise to do so by adding a player that could be a part of their long-term future. Pardon me for thinking that Tim Anderson is not that type of player.

The track record for aging shortstops is not pretty. Anderson will be entering his age 31 season in 2024 and likely doesn’t have more than a couple years of utility left. The only benefit Oakland has to offer would be playing time, but giving Anderson every day reps would just be taking away from guys who could have a future with the A's.

Oakland needs a shortstop, there’s no getting around that. Nick Allen is probably not going to get the job done. But there are better options for the A’s, both in free agency and in the trade market. Anderson has had a solid career. If he’s able to carry that success for a couple more years as a utility infielder, more power to him. The A’s, however, need a different solution.