Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Brett Anderson Signing Official - Dodgers Designate Arruebarrena

The man Clayton Kershaw said had "probably the best stuff in Baseball" has officially been added to the Dodgers.  Brett Anderson, who you'll recall was said to have signed in mid December, will wear Blue in 2015.  It is a one-year contract and is expected to be for $10Mil plus $4Mil in incentives (via Buster Olney).

Per a Dodger press release:
Anderson, 26, has gone 27-32 with three saves and a 3.73 ERA in 92 games (81 starts) in six big league seasons with Oakland (2009-13) and Colorado (2014). During the course of his career, Anderson has posted a 1.29 WHIP and a 2.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out 386 and walking only 133. He has 56.2 career ground-ball percentage and allowed an average of only 0.75 home runs per 9.0 innings, giving up only 41 home runs in 494.0 career innings.

As a member of the Colorado Rockies last year, Anderson was limited to just eight starts by a broken left index finger and lower back surgery, going 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA. He allowed just one home run in 43.1 innings and permitted three or fewer earned runs in seven of his eight starts, including five quality starts.

Anderson was originally selected by Arizona in the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Go here to check out my previous "Welcome" post for Brett Anderson.  As you will note, he has all the potential in the world.  He just has to stay healthy.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“Over the past three seasons, no starting pitcher logging at least 100 innings has generated a higher ground ball rate than Anderson (61.4%),” wrote David Golebiewski at Gammons Daily. “His expected fielding independent ERA (a measure of pitcher skill based on strikeouts, walks, and homers per fly ball allowed) over that time frame is 3.30, far below the 3.91 overall average for starters.”

The bet here, essentially, is to get as many great starts as you can from the No. 5 spot in the Dodger rotation (behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy), then fill in as needed behind them.
To make room for Anderson on the Dodgers 40-man roster, Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena has been designated for assignment... Wha?

I think it's fair to say that the new Dodgers regime does not see him in their future plans.  Overall, Arruebarrena has certainly proved he can get it done with the glove, but his bat is another story.  Last year he hit .259/.304/.417 in the minors, and hit .195/.244/.220 in 45 plate appearances with the Dodgers.  Paired with his involvement in a nasty brawl in AAA Albuquerque last season, you have to figure they believe he isn't worth the trouble.  As I had intimated in July when the Dodgers signed Darwin Barney, it's possible that the Dodgers no longer felt he would fit in the Dodger clubhouse.  Certainly his actions during that brawl denote some possible character issues.  The problem financially, though, is that they had just signed him to a 4-year $16Mil 5-year $25Mil contract, so they'll be on the hook for three four more season.

UPDATE:  BTW, it'll be interesting to see if the Dodgers release him, ala Brian Wilson, or retain him in the minors should they not find a trade partner.

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