Brett Anderson surprised on the field last year and then, this offseason somewhat surprised off it by accepting his qualifying offer to the return to the Dodgers on a one-year deal.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden doesn’t think the surprises will stop there for Anderson and other pitchers across MLB.
Here’s what he had to say about Anderson’s second season in Los Angeles.
Watching him last year, I didn’t see the same nasty stuff he had early in his career, but he did show flashes of it, and he’s a smarter pitcher now. I think his shoulder — and body in general — will be much stronger in 2016, as he further distances himself from the injuries he once battled.
Many pundits called the Dodgers crazy for giving Anderson a $15.8 million qualifying offer this offseason (which he accepted). Not only are they not crazy, but also I think he’ll overachieve that price tag and set himself up well for free agency next offseason. He’ll play a major factor in the Dodgers’ chances of repeating as NL West champions.
You had me at hello, Jim.
Look, Anderson is something of a risk at his figure this season, but seeing as his contract doesn’t extend beyond next winter, he could be very good value if he does meet Bowden’s expectations.
It isn’t like the Dodgers are hoping for a Cy Young season, anyway. All that’s needed from him is a solid campaign from the back-end of the rotation and, even if injuries jump up again as they have before he came to L.A., there are other arms who can step into his spot.
Basically, the Dodgers made a low-risk, high-reward gamble on a pitcher they’ve already watched for an entire year. If you still call that a gamble, that’s the kind I’d be fine making under any circumstance.