Free agency for the Los Angeles Dodgers began this offseason with Brett Anderson, Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins hitting the open market the morning after the World Series concluded.
Zack Greinke soon entered the fray by opting out of the remaining three years and $71 million on the contract he signed with the Dodgers in December of 2012.
Greinke’s decision was expected, so too was the Dodgers extending the one-year qualifying offer to the right-hander, along with Anderson and Kendrick.
The trio was part of a record 20 players to be extended a qualifying offer this year, and it wasn’t until Colby Rasmus accepted his from the Houston Astros that a player agreed to the one-year contract.
Matt Wieters and Anderson joined Rasmus in accepting the $15.8 million qualifying offer by the Nov. 13 deadline. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Anderson said he rejected multiyear offers prior to arriving at a decision to return with the Dodgers:
“There were some multi-year offers but my situation is a little unique and I wanted to bet on myself,” Anderson said. “And I liked being in LA and I liked my teammates. I liked everything about it except the ending to our season. Everything taken into consideration, (I chose to accept) the one-year deal to bet on myself and hopefully get that stigma of that health record off my back I can go into next year and see what happens.”
Last season was Anderson’s first remaining healthy since his rookie year in 2009 with the Oakland Athletics. He went 10-9 over 31 starts with a 3.69 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 3.51 xFIP, 1.33 WHIP and an MLB-best 66.3 ground ball percentage.
Anderson avoiding injury played a role in his setting new career highs in starts (31) and innings pitched (180.1). He earned a $10 million base salary in 2015, and an additional $2.4 million in performance bonuses.
By electing to remain in Los Angeles, Anderson put himself in position to test free agency next year, when the market isn’t expected to be flooded with as many attractive starting-pitcher options.
This year’s crop of free-agent starting pitchers includes Johnny Cueto, Greinke, Scott Kazmir and David Price, among others.