One thing we know is that Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays are collecting arms. Some would argue they are doing so at all costs, including trading away the longest serving Blue Jay in Adam Lind. The return was Marco Estrada, who figures to be a swing man, if not a regular bullpen arm.
One such arm the Blue Jays may have interest in is the recently bought out free agent, Brett Anderson. The Blue Jays have shown a heavy interest in Anderson before when he was with the Oakland A’s. Since then, Anderson spent a season with the Colorado Rockies and did nothing to raise his value in the open market.
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In fact, the lefty missed significant parts of the 2014 season with more injuries. He went on the 60 day DL with a fractured index finger on his throwing hand. He also missed 60 days due to his lower back. All told, he managed to get into 8 games and went 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA. In 43 innings, he struck out 29 batters. Despite his small sample size, Anderson was worth 1.1 WAR.
Anderson throws the standard fastball, slider, curveball, changeup. He throws his slider for 33% of the time. As we’ve seen with Sergio Santos, perhaps that percentage could go down a bit and he could avoid stress on h is arm. His changeup percentage is just at 6% usage. Maybe mixing in a few more of those bad boys to mess with timing might serve him well.
The biggest concern with Anderson will be the injuries. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. Since then, he’s missed time with: oblique (2012), finger (2014), low back (2014).
Since his great debut where he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2009, it has pretty much been downhill for Brett Anderson. He was a strike out machine when he entered the league, but has since struggled with injuries, some consistency and the Colorado air.
Year Tm W L ERA G GS IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB9 SO9 2009 OAK 11 11 4.06 30 30 175.1 180 79 45 150 1.283 2.3 7.7 2010 OAK 7 6 2.80 19 19 112.1 112 35 22 75 1.193 1.8 6.0 2011 OAK 3 6 4.00 13 13 83.1 86 37 25 61 1.332 2.7 6.6 2012 OAK 4 2 2.57 6 6 35.0 29 10 7 25 1.029 1.8 6.4 2013 OAK 1 4 6.04 16 5 44.2 51 30 21 46 1.612 4.2 9.3 2014 COL 1 3 2.91 8 8 43.1 44 14 13 29 1.315 2.7 6.0
As stated previously, he has done nothing to increase his value as a free agent. The Rockies did not want to pay him the $12M he was due (he made $8M in 2014). Now as a free agent heading into 2015, he will be hard pressed to replicate even his 2014 salary.
This is where the Blue Jays come in. Anderson is a pitcher who has had big success previously, which equals value. He’s battled many injuries, which diminishes that value. He’ll be just 27 at the beginning of the 2015 season. It is quite possible that this is the type of pitcher the penny pinching Blue Jays would target rather than fork over truckloads of money. Could this be the “low risk, high reward ” type of player the Blue Jays are looking for?