Rumour: Blue Jays in on Brett Anderson
After the Oakland Athletics signed Scott Kazmir, many sources predicted a follow up trade of Brett Anderson. This became even more likely after the frugal A’s acquired $10MM closer Jim Johnson from the O’s. To nobody’s surprise, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted the Toronto Blue Jays are one of the teams interested in Anderson. There have been whispers of the Jays being heavily interested in Anderson over the last couple seasons. Add in the A’s and Jays trade history, and a trade wouldn’t be too shocking.
If Anderson can be had at a low price, he could be a great pickup. He’s had some injury concerns, but they don’t appear to be injuries that will carry with him in his career. He went through Tommy John surgery in 2011, and a stress fracture in his foot this past season. Brett has a wicked slider, but overuse of that pitch might be a bit of a factor in his past injury troubles. He’ll will get paid $8MM next season, with a $12MM team option the following year. When healthy, Anderson can probably be a solid #2 starter on any team.
As a 21 year old rookie, Anderson made 30 starts in 2009, putting up an impressive 4.06ERA and 3.56 xFIP while providing 3.6 fWAR for the Athletics. Since then, due to injuries, Anderson has not been able to contribute for a full season. However, following Tommy John surgery, Anderson continued to put up comparable numbers to his rookie season. His career FIP and xFIP are both in the 3.5x range.
The Jays are in dire need of some rotation help and Anderson could be a great fit for the Jays, if the price is right. You don’t need a rotation of five Mark Buehrles to have a successful season. If Toronto can supplement a couple of durable arms (Buehrle and Dickey) with a bunch of lottery tickets, then all they need is for a couple of SP chips to fall their way this year and their rotation fortunes could swing around big-time in one offseason. Anderson is pretty much as good as it gets in terms of an acquirable SP lottery ticket.