TODAY: Oakland has indeed selected Anderson’s contract. Righty Emilio Pagan was optioned to create roster space.
YESTERDAY: Brett Anderson arrived in the Athletics’ clubhouse on Tuesday night and is expected to start for Oakland tomorrow in place of recently demoted Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The A’s will have to formally select Anderson’s contract beforehand, though they have an open spot on the 40-man roster, so they won’t need to make a corresponding move to accommodate him.
The news means that for the first time in seven years, the Athletics’ rotation will feature both Anderson and Trevor Cahill — two now-30-year-old pitchers who were once viewed as potential building blocks for the A’s. Over a span of two years, however, Oakland traded both pitchers in separate deals that netted Jarrod Parker, Drew Pomeranz, Ryan Cook, Collin Cowgill and Chris Jensen.
Since he last suited up for the A’s, Anderson has appeared for the Rockies, Dodgers, Cubs and Blue Jays at the big league level, at times functioning as a decidedly above-average starter but also dealing with myriad back injuries in addition to blister issues and a broken finger on his pitching hand. In the four seasons since he was traded Anderson has pitched a total of 290 1/3 innings — the vast majority of which came with the 2015 Dodgers (180 1/3 innings, 3.69 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 66.3 percent ground-ball rate).
[Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]
As Shea notes, Anderson had an opt-out provision in his contract, which likely contributed to the decision to bring him back to the big league level. However, one could hardly argue that Anderson didn’t earn the promotion based on merit, either; in four starts and 19 innings thus far with Triple-A Nashville, he’s surrendered four earned runs (1.89 ERA) on 17 hits and two walks with 25 strikeouts and a 65.2 percent grounder rate. He’ll join Cahill, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden and Andrew Triggs in Oakland’s rotation for the time being.