Anderson, 30 in March, got scattered major league time from 2017 to 2021. He suited up for the Phillies, White Sox and Rangers, appearing in five straight seasons but never making more than nine appearances in any individual campaign. He threw a combined 44 1/3 innings in 19 games over that stretch, allowing 6.50 earned runs per nine frames. His 8.3% walk rate was around average but his 14.7% strikeout rate was well below.
After that run, he headed overseas to join Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Over the past two years, Anderson tossed 115 innings in 34 games for the Carp, with a 3.05 ERA in that time. He struck out 20.7% of batters faced while giving out walks at an 8.4% clip.
On the heels of those solid results in Japan, Anderson now returns to North America and will join the Tigers. He has worked both as a starter and a reliever in his career and it’s unclear which role the Tigers have in mind for him, but he would seem to have a steep climb towards a starting role.
The club has Tarik Skubal, Kenta Maeda and Jack Flaherty in the rotation, with Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Reese Olson and Sawyer Gipson-Long likely batting for the spots at the back end. Other options on the roster include Alex Faedo, Mason Englert, Joey Wentz and Keider Montero. Top prospects Wilmer Flores, Ty Madden and Jackson Jobe are getting close to their major league debuts, with Flores having already secured a spot on the 40-man.
Nonetheless, as the cliches say, you can never have enough pitching depth and there’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal. For Anderson, he will get a chance to show himself to MLB scouts after a couple of years abroad and try to get back to show.