As we all know by now, heading into this offseason no player had ever accepted their team’s qualifying offer, instead opting for free agency and the security of a longer-term deal. This offseason, however, three accepted their one-year, $15.8 million deals.
One such player: Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Brett Anderson.
On Monday, he spoke to several reporters on a conference about the decision and what all went into it on his end.
Quotes transcribed by the O.C. Register’s Bill Plunkett.
“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.”
It takes some courage to turn down the security that comes with a long-term deal, especially in the MLB, where contracts are guaranteed — unlike a player’s health. In this sense, the Dodgers should be excited that Anderson feel comfortable enough about his progress to make this call.
Some will scoff at paying someone on the back end of the rotation nearly $16 million, but Anderson was good last year, and could very improve in 2016. Here’s how he thinks he might.
“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.”
If the factors he lists do hold true, the Dodgers would have a very steady lefty to help get games back to the top half of the rotation — which, when you have names like Clayton Kershaw or potentially Zack Greinke or David Price, should be all you’re hoping for from that role.
Welcome back, Brett!