The Athletics are in agreement with left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson on a one-year major-league deal, according to a report Monday night from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. Anderson, never one to hold things too closely to the vest on social media, all but confirmed his signing on Twitter as well:
The Chronicle has learned that the A’s second reunion in two years with Brett Anderson is happening very soon. Did Billy Beane run into him at the gym again?— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 12, 2019
I am hearing it’s a big-league deal for Brett Anderson with the A’s.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 12, 2019
Fingers crossed for a passed physical tomorrow— Brett Anderson (@_BAnderson30_) February 12, 2019
Anderson, 31, has always been solid when he’s been healthy, but he’s unfortunately struggled with injuries quite a bit over his 10-year major-league career. In 2018, he made 17 big-league starts — his most since 2015 — posting a less-than-stellar 4.48 ERA, but throwing for a much more encouraging 1.28 WHIP. He had just 47 strikeouts in 80.1 innings but displayed spectacular command, walking only 13 batters for the season.
The A’s have very much slow-played things as far as adressing their starting rotation, but they’re at the point now where — at least barring injury during spring training — they should be able to put together a decent rotation without having to make constant use of The Opener. It’s still unclear whether the A’s will go with a traditional starting five or just have a rotation spot designated for a bullpen day each time through the order, but with the returns of Anderson and Mike Fiers, the signing of Marco Estrada, and guys like Daniel Mengden, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas, and non-roster invitee Parker Bridwell also being potentially decent back-of-the-rotation options, it’s possible that they’ll have enough depth to open the season with a standard rotation. Of course, that’s not saying much for a club that expects to compete for a playoff spot, and if they were to bring back Edwin Jackson (as Anderson suggested on Twitter Monday night) or sign a guy like Gio Gonzalez or Clay Buchholz, it’d certainly help to shore up their potential depth concerns.