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January 2017

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COMMENTS

Brett Anderson

Written by , Posted in General

Each and every year, I, like most Cub fans, think about different scenarios that the front office could and should do to make our team better throughout the course of the season.  Most of my trade ideas probably wouldn’t make it through the GM mode of “MLB: The Show”, but I love to speculate anyhow.  The Cubs did make a move two days ago that I was hoping would happen…sign Brett Anderson.  Granted, the guy hasn’t had a whole lot of time to prove his worth due to injuries that has plagued his career.  The times that he has been healthy however he has shown that he can be a top of the line starter for any ball club.

IF Anderson can stay healthy, this is an absolute steal for the Cubs.  Anderson did pass his physical on Wednesday which guarantees him a 1 year deal worth 3.5 million.  If he meets all the incentives in his contract that number could reach 10 million.  I’m not a big money guy… but if he reaches that 10 million it could mean really good things for both Anderson and the Cubs.

The Cubs really do not have much to lose in this deal.  If Anderson is a true team player and good clubhouse guy, the Cubs could use him in a couple of different roles.  Anderson has been a starter his entire career in the majors.  Going into spring training he will definitely be competing for that fifth starter spot along with Mike Montgomery.  Anderson has pitched in the majors for 8 seasons with three different teams (A’s, Rockies, Dodgers).  Although he has never reached 200 innings in a season during his career (175 and 180), Anderson has put up respectable numbers that would bolster the back end of the rotation behind Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, and John Lackey.  Just two seasons ago he logged 180 innings while posting a 3.69 E.R.A.  He does have a habit of giving up the long ball (18 in 2015) but has solid K/BB stats that could hopefully offset the dingers (116K/46BB in 2015).

IF Montgomery were to win that fifth spot (and take into consideration that Joe Maddon doesn’t go with a sixth starter much this season) Anderson would be a big boost to our bullpen in the role that has been left open with Travis Wood‘s likely departure.  Wood was the crafty lefty that the Cubs could count on to get situational hitters out and to also come in to eat up innings when one of our starters did not have their stuff that game.  The difference between Anderson and Wood from the bullpen is the velocity coming at the hitter.  Yes, I know, velocity isn’t everything and it is not always effective with major league hitting.  But pairing him up with the likes of Carl Edwards, Jr., Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon (to get to Wade Davis), the Cubs bullpen could be dynamic from the 5th inning on.

Obviously, staying healthy is the key for Anderson.  If healthy this signing could work out for both Anderson and the Cubs.  It could favor Anderson because he would not be counted on to carry all the work of the pitching staff.  If he does what he is supposed to do then he is in line for a bigger pay day next off-season.  It could favor the Cubs in a couple of different scenarios.  First, he could bounce back and have a career year to be the piece that still has most fans wondering…the 5th starter.  Second, he could be a trade piece in July that could bring back some younger prospects to help with future positions of the team (in case the Cubs aren’t able to sign a couple of players).

Losing out on signing Tyson Ross stung just a bit.  But the Anderson signing has helped in the fact that this guy could fill two roles instead of just being a starter.  Memo to Anderson: Just stay healthy.

  • Sherm

    Maybe I just don’t get all the love for Tyson Ross. He’s what? 32 – 53 with a 3.64 ERA and is coming off shoulder surgery that will sideline him until late May or early June…at best. Right handed pitcher. So, why not just keep Jason Hammel if that’s what you wanted? I think because they really want another strong LH starter. I think they took a shot at Ross, but didn’t go over the top for him…and shouldn’t have. He’ll probably make me eat my words – they often do – but it bothers me not that he’s a Ranger.

    Anderson is a good high-potential signing for all the reasons you mentioned. I have not followed his career – what kinds of injuries has he had and do we know the cause? (mechanics of pitching style, hurt himself soaping up, hamstring, back, whatever?) Some stuff is “fixable” and other is not. They must think they can get him healthy if they took a shot. I’m just curious what it was that kept him out because I see he’s only started 115 games in 8 years, and that’s not a lot. Upside is there should be plenty of life in his arm.

    • CubbieBlue023

      This article pretty much sums up his ailments before last season’s reoccurring back injury. http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-brett-anderson-20150323-story.html

      • Sherm

        That’s actually good – nothing chronic…other than bad luck! Hopefully, he left that in LA…or wherever he was before this…

    • Douglas Saye

      I agree with you Sherm. I was not a fan of signing Ross to a one year deal without a team friendly option. I definitely like the Anderson deal better. We could both be wrong as you mention but we can revisit that in November.

    • Buddy

      I agree about Tyson Ross. Left-handed hitters have owned him over his career, and that was before he got hurt, and while pitching in great pitchers parks. Between him and Brett Anderson, I would rather have Brett Anderson. But again, we’re only talking about a 5th/6th starter here.

  • JTBarrett16

    Just bring back Hammel god dam it. You can get away with 4 starters in October, but to get to October, you need 5.

    • Eddie Von White

      Family blog…

      • Seymour Butts

        The improper spellin makes it OK.

  • Brad Lyerla

    I gather that Anderson’s problems have been back injuries, including surgery. I trust the Cubs have done their due diligence on his health, and the contract protects them. But the back is tricky.

  • Eddie Von White

    Just reading this makes me yearn for opening day. The Cubs are World Champions.

    • JTBarrett16

      I’m buying a W flag on eBay today for my office

  • Adam Peters

    One of the tenets of the Moneyball philosophy is to find value where others don’t. This signing is a perfect example of that. It’s a gamble, sure, but if the Cubs get 10 or 15 good starts out of Anderson or he becomes the long relief lefty out of the bullpen it will be worth it. $3.5M is peanuts for a starting pitcher these days.

    I think the plan is still to have Montgomery be the 5th starter, but this is insurance in case that doesn’t work out.

    As JT said below, we’ve got our 4 starters for the playoffs. We need to find 32 regular season starts from somewhere else.

    • JTBarrett16

      I just look for an innings eater out of my 5th starter, which Hammel can do. We want to keep our other starters healthy for October, and be able to open a huge lead, so that you can pull your starters early. Like the San Diego game we were at. 3 run lead after 8, Arrieta has thrown 99 pitches. With a 13-game lead, you can pull him to preserve bullets for October. With a 3-game lead, he would be pitching in the 9th.

    • Sherm

      Just for grins – let’s say Anderson (or Monty) have a GREAT season. Healthy. Ton of quality starts, etc. For the sake of this “exercise” let’s say that Arietta, Lester, Hendricks and Lackey all have years similar to last season. Do you leave Lackey OFF the post-season roster? (if he’s the #5?)

      • JTBarrett16

        I send him to the pen in that case. Too valuable to not be on the roster at all.

      • Adam Peters

        If he’s #5 at that point, you don’t have him start just out of respect. I would leave him on to use out of the bullpen.

        Lackey was OK in the playoffs this year. 7 ER in 13 IP in three starts. 4.85 ERA. But I would be comfortable bringing him early and asking for 2-3 innings.

  • Doc Raker

    Can Felix Pie pitch?

    I like the signing, lot’s of upside, not much downside. Can we start spring training now?

    • I can only think of one thing when I hear his name and I suspect all you gents think of the same thing. Then cross your legs.

      • Sherm

        March 11, 2008. Came back only five days later, which is amazing. How did they un-twist it? I don’t want to know.

        Chris Snyder went down in July that same year with a fractured one. How do you fracture it? Doesn’t it have to be bone to fracture? I’m no doctor, but I thought so. Gives a whole new meaning to the expression “bag of bones,” I suppose…..

      • JTBarrett16

        A Tuesday. It’s also my first thought when I think of Felix Pie.

      • Dork

        you think of tuesday?

      • JTBarrett16

        When I think of Pie? No! The twisted nut

      • Kyle

        I had to google Felix Pie’s injury. Now I’m sorry I did. That’s a nutty situation to be in! Wait, no, I mean reDICulous. Dangit, I mean Unfortunut. sonofa..

      • Ignorance is bliss!

      • Sherm

        CAPS is SO happy!

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      To answer your question, Yes, but not very well. I would rather see Lemon Meringue Pitch.

      • Sherm

        If that’s the road we’re taking here…should Felix now be called “Minced Meat?”

      • Ouch.

      • I love talking about balls.

      • JTBarrett16

        STOMP EM IN THE NUTS
        STOMP EM IN THE NUTS
        STOMP EM IN THE NUTS
        IMA STOMP EM IN THE NUTS

      • CubbieBlue023

        Being an newbie (don’t know how much longer I can use that, but will milk it for all its worth), I am figuring out you all are kind of like my middle school students. One comment can derail this entire conversation piece.

      • Notice Jerry’s unsuccessful attempt to steer the conversation away from balls?

      • CubbieBlue023

        While everyone giggles.

      • Eddie Von White

        I think it was Swanson who said “welcome to the club.”

      • Doug S.

        Trigger key words like Wood and Johnson never fail.

      • JTBarrett16

        He plays hard and gets good wood on the ball

      • Dork

        yep its one of the best things about this site – we can all be middle schoolers again.

      • CubbieBlue023

        best years of our life!

      • It’s even worse in the offseason.

      • JTBarrett16

        Mmmmmmmm…pie

  • Doc Raker

    Your welcome.