As the 2015 offseason got underway the Los Angeles Dodgers front office had some quick decisions to make.
Outside of a search for Don Matingly’s replacement taking place, management needed to make decisions regarding their free agents.
That led to Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke and Howie Kendrick all being extended the one-year qualifying offer by the Dodgers.
In a mild surprise, Anderson was one of three Major League players to accept the qualifying offer. No player in MLB history had ever done as much in the three years prior.
Coming off another injury-shortened season, the southpaw pitcher signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers last December. He managed to remain healthy in 2015, and took a bet on himself to do the same next season.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Anderson hopes to take advantage of an offseason where he is healthy and not rehabbing an injury:
“I do think that having this pseudo-normal off-season to build some strength translates to some more velocity,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever be back to where I was in 2009 and 2010, early in my career, when I was mid- to upper-90s. But if I can add more power to my slider and sneak some more fastballs by people I’ll take that.”
As a pitcher who relied more heavily on pitch control and location, Anderson became a ground ball machine, leading the Majors with a 66.3 percent groundball rate.
Outside of battling a sore left Achilles tendon that forced him to take an extra day of rest between starts, Anderson was a model of health in a starting rotation that lost Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu to season-ending surgeries by May 21.
During the 2011 offseason Anderson was recovering from Tommy John surgery in July of a disappointing year with the Oakland Athletics.
Soon after returning in 2012, Anderson suffered an oblique strain early in mid-September, causing him to miss the remainder of the regular season; he did manage to make one start in the playoffs.
Anderson’s 2014 season with the Colorado Rockies was complete with a broken left index finger suffered while taking an at-bat in April and season-ending back surgery in August.
The 27-year-old southpaw will head into 2016 coming off setting new career highs in starts (31) and innings pitched (180.1). Anderson earned an additional $2.4 million last season by reaching multiple incentives in his contract.