Not unlike the Russell Martin deal with the Blue Jays – albeit on a much smaller scale – I’m pretty bummed about Buster Olney’s just-now-report that the Dodgers are signing lefty Brett Anderson to a one-year, $10 million deal with up to $4 million in incentives. But I’m not so much bummed about missing out on that particular deal, because it’s quite a bit more generous than I thought Anderson would be able to get on a make-good deal, given his extensive injury history.
I’ve made no secret of my affection for Anderson, just 26, as a roll-the-dice target for the Cubs. Everyone knew he was taking a one-year deal, and the Cubs have enough depth to withstand an injury, if another one befalls him. The Cubs also have a fairly open spot at the back of the rotation where they could stand to have a guy like Anderson – with tons of upside – be given a chance to break out.
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn eventually that the Cubs were in on Anderson, but, as with Justin Masterson, they just weren’t in at this price. Given their rotation depth, I can understand not committing $10 million to a lottery ticket. By the way: Anderson got a bigger guarantee than Masterson. Wrap your head around that.
If the Cubs opt to add another starter the rest of the way, it could be a lottery ticket type like Brandon Morrow or Brandon Beachy or Kris Medlen (I like that route), or it could be a trade for a one-year guy (there are some deals I could like, and some I could dislike). I still doubt we’re going to see the Cubs seriously pursue Cole Hamels right now, and I would totally rule out a pursuit of Max Scherzer or James Shields.
It won’t be the end of the world if the Cubs head to Spring Training with the expectation that Kyle Hendricks will be the fourth starter, behind Lester/Arrieta/Hammel, and the very large group of 5th starter options – Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jacob Turner, Felix Doubront, Tsuyoshi Wada, Dan Straily, Dallas Beeler, Eric Jokisch – could fight it out for that job. But it is debatable whether the Cubs could stand to add another starter.