Rockies Acquire Brett Anderson

Cross off Brett Anderson from your list of possible high-risk, high-reward, comeback pitcher types — the Oakland Athletics have traded the oft-injured lefthander to the Rockies.

Anderson underwent Tommy John surgery midway through the 2011 season, came back in late August 2012, and then suffered an ankle injury / stress fracture in his foot that caused him to miss much of 2013. When he’s been healthy, he’s been brilliant, but he’s made more than 19 starts only once in his 5-year MLB career.

Still, Anderson is only 25 years old, and he’s lefthanded, so he’s perceived as a valuable asset and potential top-of-the-rotation guy. The Rockies gave up another 25-year-old LHP, Drew Pomeranz, as well as righthander Chris Jensen, to obtain Anderson — as well as $2M toward his salary ($8M in 2014; there’s a club option for 2015 at $12M or a $1.5M buyout).

This could be viewed as a salary dump by Oakland. I think it’s more than that — I think they know enough about Anderson’s health and mechanics to believe he’s not worth $8M, and I think they believe Pomeranz has a chance to perform a bit closer to the phenom status many formerly predicted for him. He made a bit over the MLB minimum last year and isn’t due for arbitration until 2016. After learning to survive without Anderson, and adding Scott Kazmir to the mix, this looks like a very smart move by Billy Beane — are you surprised?

What’s your reaction? Did you think the Mets might go after Anderson, and/or Pomeranz?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies December 11, 2013 at 4:20 am
    It’s funny… Beane seemed like a genius for a while, with a mix of dominant and contending teams from 2000-2006 with mostly small budgets.

    Then from 2007-2011 the A’s didn’t compete. They also gave up CarGo and Street for Holliday and then got only Brett Wallace for Holliday a year later. So much for genius — maybe the real achievement was drafting Hudson, Zito and Mulder. By 2007 most GMs knew OBP mattered, so that advantage was lost.

    After 2011, they traded Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill. A 74-win team dealing it’s most talented player, plus a kid who delivered a solid MLB season at age 21? I figured a cheap ownership, screwed by MLB, wasn’t even trying anymore.

    Then Cook, Parker, and Norris instantly turned into useful players, the Cahill return helped net Lowrie, they got Moss off the scrap heap and Reddick for an injury-prone reliever, they gambled on Cespedes’ upside and won, and Crisp’s speed-and-defense package held up through his early 30s. 94 and 96 wins in 2012 and 2013.

    I dunno who’s evaluating talent or if anything’s changed since early 2011, but somebody in Oakland sure looks like a genius again…