According to a report from the Sun-Times, LHP Brett Anderson can be added to the list of free agent starting pitchers that are on the Cubs radar this winter.
The Cubs’ plans for the winter season have not changed with Joe Maddon now in the fold and calling the shots from the dugout. The front office would ideally add two starters to the roster this winter and Jon Lester remains the Cubs primary target. But the Cubs are also interested in James Shields as a fallback option and have been heavily connected of late to Max Scherzer.
Of the three big name free agent pitchers, signing Jon Lester would only mean a long-term, high dollar commitment and not the loss of a second round pick that inking either Shields or Scherzer would cost after the Royals and Tigers made qualifying offers to their number one starters.
Jason Hammel, Jake Peavy and Justin Masterson remain in the mix “as the team looks to add a couple of starters” according to the Sun-Times.
Brett Anderson “is also on the radar as a buy-low option” for the Cubs according to Gordon Wittenmyer.
When healthy and able to pitch, Brett Anderson has been very good. The problem with Anderson is that he cannot stay off the disabled list. The Rockies declined Anderson’s $12 million option for 2015 on Nov. 1. Anderson received a $1.5 million buyout and is a free agent.
Brett Anderson’s last game actually came against the Cubs on Aug. 5 at Coors Field. Anderson left the game with back pain after three innings and Javier Baez collected his first hit in the 12th inning, a solo home run that led to a 6-5 Cubs victory.
The 26-year old lefty (Feb. 1) pitched in only eight games (two of the eight against the Cubs) in 2014 and posted a 1-3 record with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP and a 2.99 FIP. Brett Anderson allowed 44 hits with 13 walks and 29 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings. Anderson dealt with a fractured left index finger early in the season that required surgery and landed him on the 60-day DL. And he had surgery on a bulging disk in his back after his outing against the Cubs on Aug. 5. He is expected to be recovered from back surgery in time for the start of Spring Training.
Brett Anderson has not made 30 starts in a single season since 2009 and the last time he made more than 15 starts was in 2010. Anderson was 26-29 in 84 games, 73 starts, over five years with Oakland (3.81 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.56 FIP) before he was traded with cash to Colorado last December for Drew Pomeranz and Chris Jensen.
Brett Anderson is a groundball pitcher that would likely have a lot of success at Wrigley Field. And it could be worth taking a flier on hime at the right price.