The Marlins are among the teams looking into White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN. The two-time All-Star is in the midst of a down season but could be viewed by some clubs as a buy-low, change of scenery candidate.
That’d be the hope in Miami, where the team’s in-house options at shortstop have also underwhelmed. Marlins shortstops are hitting .258/.301/.335 on the season, with Joey Wendle, Jon Berti, Garrett Hampson and Jacob Amaya all having appeared at the position. Anderson’s .245/.285/.285 line is even worse than that, though he’s hitting .378/.440/.422 since the All-Star Game and .300/.345/.350 overall this month. Beyond that, Anderson has a lengthy track record of excellence at the plate; from 2019-22, he batted .318/.347/.473, leading all qualified hitters in batting average during that time.
Anderson would be a pricey addition by the Marlins’ standards. He’s being paid $12.5MM this season and has a $14MM club option for the 2024 campaign (though a $1MM buyout makes it a net $13MM decision for the team). He’s still owed about $4.5MM of this year’s salary between now and season’s end, plus at least the $1MM option buyout.
Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Miami only has about $38MM on the books — assuming slugger Jorge Soler opts out of the remaining one year and $9MM on his contract. That’s before they pick up a $3.5MM option on Berti and before considering raises for notable arbitration-eligible players. Luis Arraez, Jesus Luzardo, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Tanner Scott, Trevor Rogers and A.J. Puk are among Miami’s arb-eligibles; Arraez, Scott and Luzardo, in particular, will be due notable raises from their respective $6.1MM, $2.825MM and $2.45MM salaries for the 2023 season. Penciling in a $14MM salary for Anderson from the jump would put Miami on track to run a $100MM+ payroll for just the third time in franchise history.
At this stage it’s far from a given that Anderson will end up in Miami — or even that he’ll change hands at all. The White Sox aren’t looking to tear the roster down and embark on another lengthy rebuild but rather are looking to retool to take another shot at contending in 2024. Anderson could well be a part of that, and a big second half would quickly restore the notion that his option is an easy call to exercise. As it stands, it’s a far closer call than anyone would’ve reasonably expected heading into the year.
That said, Chicago’s top prospect, 2021 first-rounder Colson Montgomery, has ripped through minor league pitching since returning from a monthslong stay on the injured list. Montgomery has scarcely played above the High-A level but figures to see ample time in Double-A later this summer. It’s possible he could be ready for a big league look at some point in 2024, and the Sox could always trade Anderson and then sign/acquire a low-cost veteran to bridge the gap to Montgomery this offseason.
The White Sox already traded Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Angels last night, and as of earlier this month they were reportedly willing to entertain offers on anyone other than the quartet of Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert Jr. and Andrew Vaughn. The Marlins, meanwhile, got into the trade game yesterday as well when they swapped Dylan Floro for Jorge Lopez in an exchange of struggling relievers.