One of the top offseason goals of any franchise — no matter how set the pitching rotation — is surveying the buy-low pitching candidates. There’s nothing wrong with offering some wayward hurlers a minor league deal and a spring training invite. Most don’t work out, but it only needs to work once to make the practice worth it.
Even still, Brett Anderson isn’t a buy-low candidate worth spending a dime on. If the left-hander offers to work for free or pay the Kansas City Royals, then we’ll talk. But until then, the team should steer clear. In theory, the rotation could use another quality lefty to eat innings with Jason Vargas likely on the way out. Anderson, though, doesn’t fit that profile.
Only twice in his nine-year career has Anderson thrown more than 113 innings. In those two campaigns, he performed pretty well. The first occurrence came his rookie season with Oakland. That year, Anderson tossed 175 1/3 innings with an 11-11 record and a 4.06 ERA. In 2015, he managed a 10-9 mark and 3.69 ERA over 180 1/3 innings for the Dodgers.
That’s not the Anderson the Royals would likely sign this offseason. They would probably get the Anderson who threw just 55 1/3 innings in 2017. In that time, which came for the Cubs and Blue Jays, he posted a 6.34 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. His strikeout-to-walk rate of 1.81 wasn’t much better. Anderson should be given the chance for a bounce-back season. It just shouldn’t come from the Royals.