The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the offseason with major holes in their starting rotation as both Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer reached free agency.
Scherzer signed with the New York Mets before the MLB lockout began despite mutual interest between the Dodgers and the future Hall of Famer. Kershaw remained on the open market at that time and was thought to be deciding between L.A. and the Texas Rangers.
As the team looked to fortify their rotation, they signed Andrew Heaney early in the offseason and more recently re-signed Kershaw and agreed to terms with Danny Duffy. However, Duffy won’t be an option until midseason as he recovers from flexor tendon surgery.
To further fortify their depth, the Dodgers signed veteran southpaw Tyler Anderson to a one-year contract. Per multiple reports, his deal for the 2022 season is worth $8 million. Anderson will wear No. 31 with the Dodgers.
The 32-year-old made his MLB debut in 2016 with the Colorado Rockies and pitched there through the 2019 season before joining the San Francisco Giants in 2020.
Last season he split time between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners, making a combined 31 starts and throwing 167 innings while posting a 4.53 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 7.22 strikeouts per nine, 2.05 walks per nine and 2.1 WAR.
In his career, Anderson has made 117 starts while pitching 623.2 innings with a 4.62 ERA and 4.43 FIP.
The majority of Anderson’s starts have come at Coors Field, where he has thrown 235.2 innings with a 4.12 ERA. At Dodger Stadium, Anderson owns a 3.68 ERA over 29.1 innings.
While he hasn’t had a ton of success in his career, Anderson does have some intriguing traits.
Last season he was in the 88th percentile of limiting hard hits, 89th percentile of limiting walks, and 94th percentile of getting hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone.
Anderson’s fastball also has good spin on it, so the Dodgers might feel there is a chance to unlock some strikeout potential and help him take a step forward as a pitcher.
Anderson throws a fastball, cutter, changeup, sinker and curveball, so if the team can teach him a slider as they already have done with many of their pitchers, that would make Anderson an even more intriguing option.
How does Anderson fit with the Dodgers?
Anderson provides the Dodgers with quality veteran depth and insurance if MLB decides to suspended Trevor Bauer over his alleged sexual assault case.
He should compete for a spot in the rotation with Andrew Heaney, Tony Gonsolin and David Price. As of this moment, it seems likely Anderson will have the edge on a rotation spot as a back-of-the-rotation innings eater.
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