The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor-league pact with free-agent lefty Brett Anderson, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter). Anderson still must undergo a physical before the deal is finalized.
Toronto has struggled to fill out its rotation, with injuries leaving openings and the team dealing away Francisco Liriano at the deadline. While a Wild Card run still seems generally unlikely, there’s enough of an opening that it certainly makes sense for the Jays to seek out some new options. And there could be a greater rotation need if the club ends up dealing Marco Estrada.
Anderson will represent a free-roll for Toronto. The Cubs promised the 29-year-old a $3.5MM payday for the current season and remain on the hook for the remainder after releasing him earlier this summer. Toronto would only need to pony up the league-minimum rate of pay for any time that Anderson spends on the MLB roster.
Both Anderson and the Jays will hope for a bounceback performance after Anderson struggled with Chicago. Back issues have again been a significant problem, and Anderson’s 22 MLB innings have not gone well. In that span, he was roughed up to the tune of 20 earned runs on 34 hits and a dozen walks.
There have been better days in the past, of course. For most of his career, Anderson has turned in quality results when healthy. As recently as 2015, he was able to spin 180 1/3 innings of 3.69 ERA ball, though that was his first full season since 2009 and ending up giving way to an injury-shortened 2016 campaign.
Should the southpaw earn his way back up to the majors, he ought to have enough time to showcase his form for possible winter suitors. While the injury history significantly limits his earning upside, Anderson could still conceivably score a MLB deal over the offseason if he’s able to turn in a handful of effective starts for Toronto.