The Colorado Rockies have taken a big step toward upgrading their starting rotation by trading with the Oakland Athletics for left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson, the team announced:
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman gives more detail:
the a's send $2M to rockies to cover part of brett anderson's salary— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2013
Anderson has the potential to pitch like a front-end starter when healthy. In five seasons with the Oakland Athletics, he posted a 3.81 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His best season came in 2010 when he went 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA.
MLB.com's Jane Lee provides Billy Beane's reaction to the trade:
Beane on Anderson: "We've gone through the years & built up a rotation. The hard thing was trying to find a way to live without him."— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) December 10, 2013
Unfortunately, he has also dealt with injuries throughout his short career. The only time Anderson made more than 19 starts was his rookie year. Since then, he has only pitched 275.1 innings in four years, pitching in a total of 54 games.
He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, which limited his production into 2012, and this past season, foot and ankle injuries kept him out for most of the year. Anderson made a late-August return pitching out of the bullpen, but he struggled in that role and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA and 1.61 WHIP.
As a result, Joel Sherman of the New York Post quoted front-office personnel who only considered Anderson a backup plan:
Exec who is in on SP says #Athletics very available Brett Anderson is "Plan B not Plan A guy, he has a lot of risk, but also lots of upside"— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 9, 2013
Still, the upside is clearly there, as he is someone who has had plenty of success at the sport's highest level. At 25 years old, he has plenty of time to overcome the injury issues and be a All-Star caliber starting pitcher.
This is what the Rockies are hoping for, as pitching is a big need heading into next season.
From the Athletics' perspective, they are able to get some value for a player who might not have even cracked the rotation in 2014. The squad got a lot of production out of young pitchers Sonny Gray, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone last season, and each of them should be counted on going forward.
Drew Pomeranz and Chris Jensen are both young players the A's are hoping they can mold into quality performers. They've been great at fostering talent in the past.
Additionally, Oakland inked Scott Kazmir to a two-year contract after a bounce-back season with the Cleveland Indians.
Trading Anderson helps clear out some room in the rotation while bringing in quality players who can help the club in the future.
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