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Brewers sign Brett Anderson to one-year deal

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David Stearns signs another bargain starting pitcher, bringing in the veteran left-hander on a low-risk deal

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers’ starting rotation is starting to come into focus, as the team is announcing its second signing in three days.

Left-hander Brett Anderson will be joining the Brewers on a one-year deal, as officially announced by the team.

Anderson will turn 32 in February and is coming off a season in which he was worth 2 fWAR/2.5 bWAR and had a 3.89 ERA/4.57 FIP/5.65 DRA in 31 starts for Oakland. One of those “if he could stay healthy” guys for much of his career, it was just the third time in his 11 years in the majors that he accumulated 30 or more starts.

He also doesn’t miss bats, making Zach Davies look like Zack Greinke -- Anderson’s 4.6 strikeouts per 9 innings were the lowest among qualified starters in 2019. He at least makes it hard to hit the ball in the air, though, with a career groundball rate of 56.8%, and a 54.5% groundball rate last year that was third-best in the majors behind only St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson (56.9%) and Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo (55.2%).

We don’t know yet what he’ll be making for the Brewers, but he’s likely coming relatively cheap. He made only $1.5 million with the A’s last season, and there’s no such thing as a bad one year deal.

His injury history is a large reason why he’s presumably so affordable, and with that in mind, David Stearns may not be done adding starters to the rotation mix. That could also make it easy to part ways if Anderson’s performance isn’t up to par. At the very least, he seems to be filling the Gio Gonzalez role of a veteran left-hander who can tightrope his way through 5 innings rather consistently.

UPDATE:

Buster Olney is the first to report the financials. Anderson will have a base salary of $5 million, with another $2 million possible in incentives.

As an aside — Chase Anderson was due $8.5 million on his team option, while Zach Davies was estimated for $5 million in arbitration before they were traded.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference, Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus