The Los Angeles Dodgers underwent significant changes in their starting rotation during the offseason as Zack Greinke bolted for Arizona on a six-year, $206.5 million contract. Los Angeles replaced the co-ace with Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda.
However, prior to those dominos falling, the Dodgers re-signed Brett Anderson. The left-hander was among the players extended the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer by the Dodgers last November.
Anderson, as was somewhat expected, was the lone player to accept the qualifying offer. A record 20 players received the qualifying offer last year.
Anderson, Colby Rasmus (Houston Astros) and Matt Wieters (Baltimore Orioles) were the only players who accepted the one-year deal, ending a three-year streak of no player agreeing to it.
Coming off a healthy season for the first time since his rookie year in 2009 with the Oakland Athletics, Anderson rejected multiyear offers to take a gamble on himself and again test free agency when the crop of available starting pitchers isn’t very deep.
That appears to have backfired some, as the southpaw underwent arthroscopic back surgery for a bulging disk one week ago. Anderson is expected to miss three to five months.
The back surgery was the second of Anderson’s career, and one that was unlikely to be necessary. Despite the oft-injured pitcher going down once more, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said recently there isn’t any regret over re-signing Anderson, per Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register:
“No. Not at all,” Zaidi said. “Because he was healthy last year and, like we said, the risk of recurrence on this thing is very low. Considering how free agent pitching prices went over the course of the offseason, this was actually looking like a pretty good bargain. This is just an unfortunate thing that happened. We are in a position where we can give some other guys opportunity and we have the depth. It’s obviously unfortunate for him and it definitely hurts us.”
Last season, Anderson posted a 10-9 record with a 3.69 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 101 ERA+, and 1.33 WHIP. He set career highs in starts (31) and innings pitched (180.1). In addition to Anderson, the Dodgers will begin the season without the services of Brandon McCarthy, Frankie Montas and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
With Brandon Beachy, Mike Bolsinger and Alex Wood among those vying to fill the voids, the Dodgers’ depth will need to hold firm until their staff returns to full health.