Brett Anderson Rumors

Yankees Showing Interest In Brett Anderson

The Yankees are looking at the second tier of starting pitchers rather than focusing on front-line arms, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney, and one player they’ve discussed is Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson (Twitter link).

The 26-year-old has been injury plagued over the last several seasons and has totaled just 33 1/3 frames this year, though the results have been favorable: a 3.24 ERA with a ground-ball percentage just north of 60 percent. Anderson’s 18-to-13 K/BB ratio in that same time isn’t as encouraging, of course.

Acquired from the A’s in an offseason deal that sent fellow hurlers Drew Pomeranz and Chris Jensen to the Rockies, Anderson is earning $8MM in 2014, $2MM of which is being paid by the A’s. His contract also contains a $12MM club option ($1.5MM buyout) for the 2015 season.

Anderson was once looked at as one of the game’s most promising young pitchers, but injuries have derailed some of that shine. He still sports a career ERA of 3.77 (with identical FIP and xFIP marks of 3.57) to go along with 7.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 55.3 percent ground-ball rate, but he’s totaled just 196 1/3 innings since Opening Day of 2011.

It remains to be seen, however, if the Rockies will be willing to move Anderson at all. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported this morning (Twitter link) that the Rockies don’t consider Anderson a trade candidate. The team is planning to pick up his $12MM option or sign him to a longer-term deal.┬áIt would seem that Anderson’s ground-ball arsenal is appealing to the Rockies, who play in the hitter-friendly Coors Field. Colorado has shown an unwillingness to move any of its starting pitchers, as reports have indicated that they’re unlikely to move Jorge De La Rosa as well, despite his status as an impending free agent.


Quick Hits: Gillies, Anderson

Which is the better strategy for building a good team — a “stars and scrubs” approach, or a balanced roster with few stars? Jonah Keri and Neil Paine recently tackled that question for FiveThirtyEight.com, and their answer is a complex one. One can build a good team with either approach, although the “stars and scrubs” strategy might not be financially feasible for many small-market teams. And based on fWAR, the most balanced rosters (such as that of the 1976 Pirates) tend to be much better teams than the most unbalanced rosters (such as that of the 2004 Diamondbacks, which featured Randy Johnson, Brandon Webb and little else). Johnson finished second in Cy Young balloting that year and led the league with 290 strikeouts, and yet the Diamondbacks still finished 51-111, proving pretty clearly that it’s almost impossible for one player to carry an entire 25-man roster. Here are more notes from around baseball.

  • The Phillies have suspended outfielder Tyson Gillies for three games for doing damage to a bat rack and wall after striking out four times in a Triple-A game, Matt Gelb of the Inquirer reports. Gillies was one of three players the Phillies acquired when they shipped Cliff Lee to the Mariners in 2009. At 25, he continues to struggle at the Triple-A level and still hasn’t made it to the big leagues.
  • The Rockies have placed pitcher Brett Anderson on the 60-day disabled list, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweets. Anderson had surgery on a fractured finger. The Rockies acquired Anderson from the Athletics in December for Drew Pomeranz and Chris Jensen, and it looks like they’re going to get very little out of him in the first half of the season.

Injury Notes: Anderson, Moore, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox

Needless to say, the season has gotten of to a rough start in terms of injury news. Offering some hope, perhaps, Baseball America's J.J. Cooper writes (answering a reader question) that two-time Tommy John patients have a better track record of recovery than is perhaps commonly thought. Here's the latest on a few situations around the league that have (or could have had) hot stove implications:

  • Rockies starter Brett Anderson is expected to be out for a lengthy stretch with a broken index finger, as he will need four to six weeks to recover before rehabbing, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com (via Twitter). The 26-year-old, who has had more than his share of injury troubles in recent campaigns, will undergo surgery to have pins inserted in the finger, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (via Twitter). Anderson was a major offseason acquisition for the Rockies, coming over in exchange for one-time top prospect Drew Pomeranz, who has been working out of the pen for the Athletics this year. Fortunately for Colorado, the team appears to have enough in-house options to cover in the meantime.
  • Rays starter Matt Moore played catch today as he and the team assess whether the young lefty can avoid Tommy John surgery, according to a report from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times"Actually [trainer Ron Porterfield] said he threw okay," said manager Joe Maddon, "but I'm waiting to hear back from him what the final analysis is. Nothing yet. [Porterfield] said he turned it loose a little bit too, so we'll see. That was probably a good test for him. The word pain was not used. [Porterfield] told me he actually threw the ball pretty good."
  • For the Phillies, starter A.J. Burnett intends to pitch through a hernia, and the team will finally welcome back reliever Mike Adams from the DL in the coming days, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. Adams was a major free agent addition last year, but threw only 25 innings of 3.96 ERA ball last year before going down to a labrum and rotator cuff tear. Adams' contract contains a $6MM club option for 2015 that would vest if he throws 60 innings this year, but that provision will be voided if he is not available on Opening Day next year because of the shoulder issues (since they arose before the end of the 2014 season).
  • With the Yankees dealing with multiple injuries and uncertainty in the infield, the obvious question is whether the team will revisit the possibility of signing Stephen Drew. John Harper of the New York Daily News argues that the team should do just that, noting that Drew can upgrade up the middle this year while providing value in any future years he signs on for. But Wallace Mathews of ESPNNewYork.com reports cites a source who says that there is "no way" the team will sign Drew or fellow free agent Kendrys Morales.
  • Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia got good news today, as he learned that his left wrist issues do not appear to be serious, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reported on Twitter. As fellow Herald reporter Scott Lauber reported later this afternoon, an MRI showed no structural damage that would warrant concern. The team has confirmed the reports while adding that closer Koji Uehara has no structural damage in his shoulder, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal tweets.


Blue Jays Pursued Trades For Kinsler, Anderson

The Blue Jays almost finalized trades that would've seen them acquire Ian Kinsler from the Rangers and Brett Anderson from the Athletics earlier this winter, but both deals ended up as "near-misses," Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reports.

Kinsler, of course, was part of the offseason's biggest blockbuster to date, when he was traded to the Tigers in exchange for Prince Fielder and $30MM.  Before that deal occurred, however, the Jays' proposed swap for the second baseman fell through due to Kinsler's partial no-trade clause that allowed him to block deals to up to 10 teams.  It's unknown what the Jays would have given up for Kinsler, though I would guess it would've been on a much lesser scale than Fielder; it wouldn't have made much sense for Toronto create another hole in the lineup by dealing the likes of Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion.

The Jays had long been rumored to be suitors for Anderson and they discussed a trade with the A's that would've sent Sergio Santos to Oakland in return for the southpaw.  Anderson's extensive injury history, however, ended up dimming Toronto's interest and Anderson was instead traded to the Rockies in December.  Interestingly, the Jays also had Santos tabbed to go to the Rangers as part of a potential three-team deal in November that was scuttled when another player in the deal failed his physical.

Second base and the starting rotation were the Blue Jays' two biggest areas of need going into the offseason, so had these two would-be deals gone through, GM Alex Anthopoulos' winter shopping could have essentially been complete.  With January almost over, however, the Jays are still looking for rotation upgrades and a Ryan Goins/Maicer Izturis platoon is still penciled into the keystone position.


AL West Notes: Wilson, Young, Angels, Morrison

The Rangers made headlines today by selecting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.  Before going on to NFL stardom, Wilson was selected by the Rockies as a second baseman in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and Colorado retained its rights to Wilson until this morning. Wilson will report to Spring Training and talk to the Rangers' minor leaguers in a motivational capacity.  "We decided if he ever wanted to play again, he'd be a guy that we'd want with us," Texas assistant GM A.J. Preller told reporters, including MLB.com's Richard Justice.  The Wilson selection isn't a gimmick,  ESPN's Richard Durrett writes, and Jon Daniels is excited to have Wilson's winning qualities in the organization, though Daniels stressed that the club isn't trying to distract Wilson from his NFL goals.  Here's more out of the AL West…

  • Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz remain unsigned, which is good news for the Rangers, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett writes.  The Rangers like both players and are hoping that their asking prices drop the longer they stay on the market.  Daniels said that his team's pursuit of Choo was "unchanged" from yesterday.
  • There is a chance that Michael Young could rejoin the Rangers if both parties see a fit, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweets.  Texas dealt its longtime franchise staple to the Phillies last offseason and Young was subsequently dealt to the Dodgers in August.
  • Despite recent rumors linking the Angels to Matt Garza and Raul Ibanez, general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters (including Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times) that his team doesn't have any outstanding offers to free agents.
  • In a special piece for FOX Sports, new Mariners first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison wrote about the experience of being traded to a new team. Morrison's piece is particularly fascinating in that it was written prior to the trade that sent him to Seattle. LoMo says he doesn't have any ill feelings toward the Marlins organization, adding that contrary to public opinion, owner Jeffrey Loria was "great and generous" to Morrison and his family. Loria allowed Morrison and his family to use his personal plane to get to Kansas City for the funeral of Morrison's father.
  • The Astros spoke to the Marlins about Morrison and also pursued Corey Hart and Mike Morse, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports.  Jose Veras rejected the Astros' initial contract offer but the two sides still share a mutual interest in a reunion.
  • The YankeesIndiansBravesPhilliesBlue JaysTwins and Indians were all involved in trade talks for Brett Anderson before the Athletics sent the right-hander to the Rockies, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Rockies Acquire Brett Anderson

4:08pm: The A's are sending $2MM to the Rockies, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

3:44pm: The A's are sending some cash to the Rockies in the trade as well, tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee.

3:32pm: The Rockies have acquired left-hander Brett Anderson from the A's in exchange for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Anderson-Brett

Anderson has been around for five years already, but he's still just 25 years old (he'll turn 26 in February) and is under control at $8MM in 2014 with a $12MM club option for 2015. Those final two seasons were both option years on a four-year, $12.5MM extension he signed with the A's in April 2010, coming off a season in which he posted a 4.06 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 50.9 percent ground-ball rate.

Anderson was even better in 2010, posting a 2.80 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 54.6 percent ground-ball rate, but injury problems set in that season. A pair of left elbow issues limited Anderson to 112 1/3 innings that season, and he went on to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2011. He missed most of 2012 recovering from that surgery but was brilliant in his return. In 2013, he missed most of the season with a stress fracture in his foot and pitched to a 6.04 ERA (3.85 FIP, 3.26 xFIP) in the 44 2/3 innings he was healthy.

The A's exercised his $8MM option anyway, believing him to be capable of exceeding that value in 2014, whether in Oakland or with aother team. Though he's totaled just 163 innings over the past three seasons combined, Anderson's talent and youth make him a solid buy-low for the Rockies to slot in behind Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.

Pomeranz, 25, was the fifth overall selection in the 2010 draft by the Indians but found himself traded to the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez blockbuster a couple seasons ago. Despite his upside, Pomeranz has yet to pan out, posting a 5.20 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 4.6 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate. He does own a 2.97 career ERA in the minors, including a 3.60 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 132 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level.

Jensen, 23, registered a 4.55 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 152 1/3 innings at Class-A Advanced Modesto in 2013. The University of San Diego product did not crack MLB.com's list of Top 20 Rockies prospects or Baseball America's list of Top 30 Rockies prospects.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Rockies, A’s Have Talked Pomeranz, Anderson

3:25pm: The A's aren't focused on one specific need and have talked with the Rockies about a number of players, tweets Renck, who adds that the deal "still has some life." MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the two sides have discussed Drew Pomeranz in talks for Anderson.

11:52am: The Rockies and A's have resumed their talks regarding left-hander Brett Anderson, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Talks of acquiring Anderson have put the Rockies' push for a late-inning reliever on the back burner for the time being, Renck adds.

Because the Rockies are on a tight payroll, the team cannot afford to miss on an $8MM player such as Anderson, writes Renck. If healthy, the 25-year-old Anderson would be a nice upgrade to the back-end of a Rockies rotation that figures to include Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.

Anderson became a popular topic late last week, with reports indicating that the A's are likely to trade Anderson this week. The two sides discussed a trade last week but weren't able to line up on a deal. The highly talented Anderson has been limited to 24 starts over the past three seasons due to injuries.


Rockies Rumors: Pomeranz, Davis, Anderson, Hammel

The Rockies haven't made any moves yet in Orlando, but they're expected to be active this week, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Renck passed along a few tidbits of note in a Monday piece for the Denver Post, so let's round up the highlights and check in on a few more Rockies items from other reporters….

  • The Rockies have talked to practically ever hard-throwing free agent reliever, with Joaquin Benoit and Grant Balfour among the pitchers they'd most like to land. However, the price tags on both players will likely preclude serious bids from Colorado, says Renck.
  • Colorado will be open-minded about moving Drew Pomeranz, particularly in a deal for another starter, Renck hears, noting within a Sulia post that the team has some interest in Wade Davis.
  • Brett Anderson is another trade candidate who interests the Rockies, but the club's talks with the Athletics are "slowly fading," tweets Renck. While Anderson isn't necessarily off the table for Colorado, there's no traction for now.
  • MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the Rockies are kicking the tires on Jason Hammel, who spent three seasons with the team from 2009 to 2011. Harding also confirms that Colorado has interest in Michael Morse, which we had heard about previously.

AL West Notes: Zduriencik, Walker, Andrus, Anderson

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik responded to this weekend's Seattle Times report pointing to dysfunction in the Mariners front office. The full response can be seen here, courtesy of MLB.com's Greg Johns. While it's too lengthy to post here in its entirety, Zduriencik was quick to dismiss many of the allegations, specifically refuting that former manager Eric Wedge had no interest in a contract extension. According to Zduriencik, Wedge asked for an extension multiple times and even demanded an extension the day before he quit. Here's more on Robinson Cano's new team…

  • Top prospect Taijuan Walker's name has come up recently in David Price trade rumors, but Jack Z told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he expects Walker to be with the Mariners in 2014 (Twitter link).
  • The Rangers are still open to dealing Elvis Andrus even after trading Ian Kinsler, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, Rosenthal categorizes the chances as being a huge long shot, noting that Texas would need a significant return (Twitter links).
  • An executive that has shown interest in Athletics lefty Brett Anderson said that Brett Anderson is more of a "plan B" than "plan A" type of player (Twitter link). Sherman added in an appearance on the MLB Network that multiple teams are viewing Anderson in that light.
  • The Angels are still trying to figure out if there's a fit with the Diamondbacks as a trading partner, tweets Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. A report earlier today linked the D-Backs to Mark Trumbo.
  • Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that the Rangers are considering a $20MM bid for Masahiro Tanaka (assuming he gets posted) but are wary of other teams trying to drive up the price on the contract.

NL West Notes: Kemp, D-Backs, Rockies, Anderson

Matt Kemp's agent, former MLB pitcher Dave Stewart, told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that he expects his client to be traded this offseason. Said Stewart: "I haven't heard a player's name floated around like that and something not happen." Stewart may be thinking back to last offseason's Justin Upton saga with that comment, but it's worth noting that several big-name trade candidates have been rumored to be on the block only to stay put, with Chase Headley coming to mind off the bat for me. Here's more out of the NL West…

  • The Diamondbacks are one of the teams with the most aggressive interest in White Sox ace Chris Sale, but there's no guarantee that the Sox have made him available, per ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Earlier today it was reported that the Sox are looking to move a starting pitcher, but Sale would require an even bigger package than David Price will command.
  • "I think we are still in the market for a starting pitcher, another bat, and as I've said before, our bullpen is not closed," Rockies director of Major League operations told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Owner Dick Monfort recently said he could see the payroll stretching to $95MM, Saunders notes.
  • MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the Rockies were "deep" in talks with the A's for Brett Anderson last week but talks slowed due to concerns over Anderson's medical reports. Harding notes that the two sides could resume talks this week.
  • The Padres and Diamondbacks could be two teams to show interest in recently DFA'ed Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks, writes Mike Beradino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. D-Backs GM Kevin Towers was the Padres' GM when San Diego finished runner-up to the Twins in bidding for the Australian right-hander as a free agent. Likewise, Padres director of international scouting Randy Smith was in the same role with San Diego when the Twins signed Hendriks in 2007.