The Oakland A’s have re-signed pitcher Brett Anderson pending a physical, first reported by Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle and confirmed by Jeff Passan of ESPN. It’s a one-year MLB contract, but the salary is not yet known. The physical is scheduled for Tuesday.
Last winter, Anderson came to Oakland on a minor league contract, but the lefty proved that he can still be an effective starter in the majors. He was called up in May and ended up making 17 starts for the A’s, with around league-average results overall. Health was an issue as usual, as he landed on the injured list twice for a shoulder strain and a forearm strain, but he was able to take the mound enough to contribute a good chunk of innings to a team that sorely needed them.
Anderson, 2018: 4.48 ERA, 80? ip, 47 Ks, 13 BB, 10 HR, 4.17 FIP
The 31-year-old isn’t someone to count on to carry a big workload, but he’s one more established arm to plug into the mix as the A’s try to patch together 162 games worth of pitching. He’s also a lefty on a roster flooded with righties, and he’s the groundball specialist that Athletics Nation has been hoping to add to the rotation. His 55.6% groundball rate last season was the third-highest among all MLB starters with at least 80 innings (out of 145 pitchers).
Oakland’s rotation now has three guaranteed names, with Anderson, Mike Fiers, and Marco Estrada. Beyond that is a long list of prospects, injury bounce-backs, and other lotto tickets who will compete to fill the final two spots, not to mention a bullpen that figures to do some heavy lifting again. The A’s will need to make a move to clear space on the 40-man roster for Anderson, but perhaps by then they’ll be allowed to transfer one of their injured pitchers to the 60-day IL instead of DFA’ing someone.
Of course, Anderson’s history with Oakland goes back long before 2018. He was wearing green and gold when he debuted in the majors in 2009, and he spent the first five seasons of his career here including two trips to the playoffs.