April 1, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Brett Anderson (49) pitches the ball against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays will not leave any stone unturned this winter in their search to add quality starting pitching to their 2014 rotation. If there is a name on either the free agent or trade market, you can bet that Alex Anthopoulos will undoubtedly check in on it.
The 25-year-old left-hander enters the 2014 offseason with a certain degree of uncertainty. The Athletics hold a $8 million option on the talented pitcher for 2014 and a $12 million option in 2015. However, what Oakland might not have is an opening in their rotation next season. With Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, and Sonny Gray all guaranteed roster spots next season, and impending free agent Bartolo Colon would like to return next season as well. That would leave Anderson as the odd man out, hence the trade talk.
Per Slusser, the Blue Jays had a scout monitoring Anderson at the end of the 2013 season and the team has long held interest in the left-hander. With that in mind, Oakland could feasibly pick up Anderson’s option and then deal the pitcher. Billy Beane, the A’s general manager, even indicated that he “thinks very highly of Brett”, which could be construed as code for, “the price will be high”.
That price may in the end be too high for the Blue Jays. Anderson has a reputation of being a very tough pitcher on the mound, as his stats below insinuate.
However, there is a caveat in those stats. The trick to being tough on the mound is taking your turn on it every fifth day, something that Anderson has struggled with. In fact, health issues have kept the talented pitcher from throwing a full season’s workload each of the last four seasons. And let’s face facts, the Blue Jays have had their fair share of problems with pitchers taking their scheduled turns in the rotation over the last two seasons. That said, there may not be a good match here.
Would the Blue Jays really want to swing a deal of prospects to the A’s to pick up a pitcher who will just become another heavy weight on the rehab trail? I think I’ll leave that to astute tweeter ajdavis24 to respond to that question.
With that all said, Anderson is only 25-years-old and could feasibly make his way back. Still, for a team nursing the likes of Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, and Ricky Romero‘s broken ego, there is likely a better option out there to spend on.