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Poll: Chase Anderson's 2020 contract option

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Should the Brewers bring back one of their multiyear rotational stalwarts?

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Player:

RHP Chase Anderson

The Narrative:

Back-end starter with one superlative season

Anderson has been in the big leagues now for parts of six MLB seasons, with his best work coming in 2017 — a 2.74 ERA in 25 starts and 141.1 innings. In each of the years other than 2017, Anderson has posted adjusted ERA-minus marks between 105 and 95. Since his abbreviated rookie season (21 starts, 114.1 innings), he has made between 25 and 30 starts and pitched 139.0 to 158.0 innings every year. Anderson has been about as good as one could hope for out of a back-end starter — dependably average, durable enough to take the ball 25+ times per year but not an innings-eater who works deep into ballgames. And hey, maybe that one outstanding season means there could still be some upside left in the tank. Next year will be his age-32 season.

The Most Recent Season:

Anderson started 2019 in the bullpen when the team opted to begin the year with Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta all in the starting rotation. It didn’t take long for Chase to find his way back into an initial out-getter role, though, and he finished the year second on the club in starts (27, out of 32 appearances) and innings pitched (139.0). He struggled in June and August but thrived in April, May, July, and down the stretch in September. Altogether, Chase pitched to a 4.21 earned run average, five percent better than league average. Anderson’s velocity bounced back to 2017-levels, with his average fastball (93.6 MPH) rating as his second-firmest every while his sinker (93.4 MPH) and cutter (90.8) set new best marks. Like many around the league, Anderson continues to go away from his sinker, throwing it at a career-low rate this season (7.5%). He also had trouble with his curveball effectiveness this year and wound up throwing it less frequently than ever (10.3%). Chase made up the difference with a few more four-seamers (43.2%) and larger increases to his cutter (14.8%) and changeup (24.2%) usage.

With all that mind, Anderson posted his highest ever swinging-strike rate (10.9%) and his second-best full-season strikeout rate (21.6%). He has historically had issues with the long ball and though he was able to improve upon his dreadful home run rate from 2018, he still coughed up 1.49 HR/9 last season. His 8.5% walk rate last season was right in-line with his work during four years with the Brewers. Because of his home run issues, Anderson has never rated particularly well according to Field Independent Pitching, and that was true again in 2019 (4.83, 108 FIP-). But Anderson has made a habit out of besting his FIP, posting a lower ERA than FIP in five of six seasons partly because he rates well in limiting both opponent exit velocity (83rd percentile) and hard contact rate (76th percentile).

The History:

166 games || 160 starts
857.0 innings
3.94 ERA || 94 ERA-
4.54 FIP || 110 FIP-
7.57 K/9
2.95 BB/9
1.35 HR/9
37.7% groundball rate

2019:

32 games || 27 starts
139.0 innings
4.21 ERA || 95 ERA-
4.83 FIP || 108 FIP-
8.03 K/9
3.24 BB/9
1.49 HR/9
35% groundball rate

The Pitching Depth Chart:

Brandon Woodruff || Adrian Houser
Zach Davies || Jimmy Nelson
Junior Guerra || Freddy Peralta
Corbin Burnes || Brent Suter
Bubba Derby || Zack Brown
Trey Supak || Thomas Jankins
Bowden Francis || Dylan File
Drew Rasmussen || Braden Webb
Alec Bettinger

The Free Agents:

Brett Anderson || Homer Bailey
Clay Buchholz || Madison Bumgarner
Trevor Cahill || Andrew Cashner
Jhoulys Chacin || Gerrit Cole
Ross Detwiler || Marco Estrada
Kyle Gibson || Gio Gonzalez
Cole Hamels || Matt Harvey
Jeremy Hellickson || Felix Hernandez
Rich Hill || Edwin Jackson
Dallas Keuchel || Josh Lindblom
Wade Miley || Shelby Miller
Matt Moore || Ivan Nova
Jake Odorizzi || Michael Pineda
Drew Pomeranz || Rick Porcello
JC Ramirez || Clayton Richard
Tanner Roark || Tyson Ross
Hyun-Jin Ryu || Ervin Santana
Drew Smyly || Dan Straily
Edinson Volquez || Michael Wacha
Adam Wainwright || Zack Wheeler
Alex Wood || Jordan Lyles

The Contract:

$8.5 mil club option for 2020 ($500K buyout)

If the option is declined, Anderson would technically become arbitration-eligible, but he is unlikely to be brought back at a projected $10.3 mil salary. If the option is picked up, Anderson would have another club option for 2021 at $9.5 mil, also with a $500K buyout.

The Decision:

Poll

What decision should the Milwaukee Brewers make regarding Chase Anderson’s 2020 contract option?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Exercise
    (318 votes)
  • 52%
    Decline
    (350 votes)
668 votes total Vote Now

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs, and Baseball Savant