The Athletics have agreed to a contract with veteran lefty Brett Anderson, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s a minors deal, but other terms are not yet known.
If the deal becomes official, Anderson will return to the place where he first broke into the majors back in 2009. He turned in strong efforts for Oakland for parts of five seasons, working to a cumulative 3.81 ERA over 450 2/3 innings. Of course, that only worked out to about ninety frames per season, as Anderson dealt with a variety of injuries.
Anderson has had his successes since leaving the A’s, as well. In particular, he turned in a strong effort in 2015 for the Dodgers, making over thirty starts for the first time since his rookie year and finishing with a 3.69 ERA over 180 1/3 frames. That earned Anderson a qualifying offer, which he accepted for the ensuing season.
Unfortunately, Anderson has been neither healthy nor effective since that point. The 2016 season was mostly lost to back surgery. And Anderson limped to a 6.34 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 55 1/3 innings last year after landing with the Cubs on a make-good contract.
There are still some signs of hope, however. Anderson is still just 30 years of age. Last year, he still managed fairly typical fastball velocity, posted an 8.8% swinging-strike rate that was the second highest of his career, and generated a typically solid 49.2% groundball rate. Anderson also may have suffered from some poor fortune with a .364 BABIP and 60.9% strand rate, though Statcast felt the results largely matched expectations based upon the quality of contact he surrendered.