Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays offseason: 5 realistic free agent starters

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The lefty Brett Anderson had a breakout year pitching with the Los Angeles Dodgers, filling out the back end of their rotation behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. This past year Anderson pitched 180.1 innings to a 3.69ERA and a 1.7 WAR. As a starter, Anderson has a career 3.72 ERA in 674.1 innings pitched. With infield defense being a strong suit for the Blue Jays now, that plays right into Anderson’s style of play.

With that lifetime ERA at 3.72, Anderson has a FIP of 3.63 and the highest ground ball percentage in the MLB in 2015 at 66.3%! As mentioned before, Toronto boasts a ton of fly ball pitchers, so in a ball park that is home run prone, it would be nice to see that amazing infield defense play such a big impact on Anderson’s game.

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Anderson does come with a lot of red flags as well. Anderson’s fastball, which averages in the low-90s, has been one of his most inconsistent pitches year in and year out. Dipping down to a wFB -4.8 this year, Anderson lives using his fastball/slider combo as his two off speed pitches have been consistently negative pitches every year. Anderson’s numbers this past year were still stellar even with his shaky fastball, relying heavily on his slider, (wSL 8.3) a dip in that slider efficiency could be devastating for him.

The main concern here is that Anderson will turn 28 years old in the offseason, and in his short time in the majors, Anderson has been on the 60-day disabled list five times with almost every injury imaginable. This season with the Dodgers was Anderson’s first healthy year. The worst kind of pitcher is the one who doesn’t show up every fifth day, especially in such an uncertain Toronto rotation. (The main reason why R.A. Dickey is so effective here)

When signing any player, teams go into extensive research regarding past health problems. Maybe since Anderson has injured in so many different ways it could be chalked up to bad luck? With that history though, it might scare off a lot of teams willing to offer Anderson a longer term deal. Assuming the Dodgers don’t show off how big their pockets are, the Blue Jays have the potential to sign Anderson for a two or three year contract worth around twenty-five to thirty million dollars.

Next: Next up? The priciest of the realistic options...

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