After a second straight strong outing for the Blue Jays, Brett Anderson posted an interesting tweet that seemed to be taking a shot at his former team, the Chicago Cubs.
As the Blue Jays wind down their 2017 season, they’ve entered into evaluation mode, with an eye on what their roster might look like in 2018. They’ve already made some moves toward that goal recently, bringing up some of the exciting kids with their expanded rosters, and designating Nori Aoki for assignment.
In baseball, you’ll often hear statements like “there is no such thing as a bad minor league contract”, and the Blue Jays are certainly among the teams to subscribe to that theory. A recent example would be the Jays adding veteran left-hander Brett Anderson, who has now made two starts in his new uniform. He’s also been very good, posting a 3.09 ERA through 11.2 innings, and looking a lot more like the healthy version of himself.
Anderson has battled injuries throughout his time in the big leagues, only making 30 starts twice, once as a rookie with the Oakland A’s in 2009, and again with the Dodgers in 2015. Unfortunately he couldn’t keep things going in 2016 in L.A., making just three starts before the Dodgers moved on from him this past offseason.
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The Chicago Cubs decided to take a flyer on him, and unfortunately things never panned out for either side in that union. The former second round pick made just six starts for the Cubs, pitching to a 8.18 ERA over 22 innings. Eventually the north siders decided to move on, and that’s where the Blue Jays stepped in and decided that there is “no such thing as a bad minor league contract”.
As we’ve watched in his two starts with the Jays, Anderson appears as though he still has something to offer as a big leaguer. He’s been effective and aggressive in his first two appearances, and most importantly, he’s healthy. If he can keep this up, he’ll drastically improve his free agent stock going into the offseason, and may even spark some legitimate interest in bringing him back to Toronto for the 2018 season. He could garner interest elsewhere too, but one thing appears to be certain, he won’t be returning to the Cubs.
After his start on Sunday, Anderson took to Twitter to throw an interesting little nugget out to the baseball world. Check it out below:
While he didn’t make a direct statement, it’s not all that difficult to unpack the message he’s sending here. Without putting words in his mouth, it appears that he’s implying that he didn’t care for the approach the Cubs wanted him to take, and is feeling more comfortable in his new environment. We don’t know this for certain, but it sounds like the Blue Jays are handing him the ball with an attitude of, “show us what you’ve got”, and he’s doing just that, with much more success thus far. It’s only been two starts, but he’s certainly passing the eye test in addition to putting up better numbers.
Of course, Cubs fans didn’t appreciate the sentiment, and it’s hard not to blame them. They’ve experienced a great deal of success with “tinkering” with pitchers in recent years, with both Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks being great examples of careers being revitalized. We don’t know exactly what the Cubs were asking of him, but it would stand to reason that they wanted to make some adjustments with his approach, as he’s been unable to stay healthy throughout his career, and has always had upside when he’s been able to get to the mound.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter anymore, as the Cubs have moved on and so has Anderson. The Blue Jays will get an up close look at the veteran this month, and if he can keep this up then he’ll be a candidate for a MLB contract during the offseason. If nothing else, he’s provided the Jays with some quality innings, and providing us with some entertain. Not bad for a MiLB contract.