The Rangers announced Wednesday that they’ve signed former Angels right-hander Justin Anderson to a two-year minor league deal with invites to Spring Training. Anderson is expected to miss most or all of the 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery back in July, so the two-year term of the minor league arrangement will give Texas the opportunity to help him rehab in-house this coming season with an eye toward contributing to the 2022 bullpen.
Anderson, 28, pitched in the Angels’ bullpen from 2018-19, logging 102 1/3 innings with a 4.75 ERA. He’s struggled in the big leagues due to a sky-high 15.7 percent walk rate, but Anderson’s fastball sat at 97.3 mph back in 2018 and he’s punched out 27.7 percent of opponents at the MLB level. The Rangers surely got plenty of close looks at him while he pitched for a division rival, and there’s little harm in taking a forward-looking flier on a potential power arm who could be controlled another four years once he’s added to the Major League roster.
While two-year minor league contracts aren’t exactly common, we’ve seen an increasing number of them in recent years. The Rangers inked Edinson Volquez to just this type of contract after he underwent Tommy John surgery with the Marlins late in the 2017 season.