Today, the Chicago Cubs announced (officially) that they’ve signed lefty Brett Anderson to a one-year deal. Although terms were not disclosed in the release, they’ve been reported by Jeff Passan as a $3.5 million guarantee, and incentives that could take it up to $10 million. Given Anderson’s lengthy injury history, that structure makes a lot of sense.
If healthy, Anderson will compete for a spot in the Cubs’ rotation – perhaps even a modified six-man rotation – or could become a swing arm in the bullpen, depending on how Mike Montgomery’s role sorts out. It’ll be interesting to see.
With the addition of Anderson, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at a full 40.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman is always on the spot with the nitty gritty contract terms:
Brett Anderson: 3.5M plus 500K for 11 games, 750K for 14 and 17, 1M for 20, 23 and 26, 1.5M for 29 games. 10M max #cubs
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 26, 2017
Heyman hasn’t amplified yet, but based on those thresholds, I’m going to assume those are for games started as opposed to merely games appeared in (you could tie the incentive to either one, but it would certainly create a perverse incentive to keep Anderson in the rotation if he could trigger the full $10 million by appearing out of the bullpen in a mere 29 games). UPDATE within the UPDATE: Heyman has now confirmed, yes, it’s for games started.
This means that if Anderson starts a half-season’s worth of games (which would be fantastic), he’ll earn $4.75 million (a steal for the Cubs). He’ll have to have a fairly healthy season to get up near that $10 million mark, which I would say fairly reflects the risk associated with a guy with a long injury history, and who is coming off of a mostly-lost season after back surgery.
Here’s hoping Anderson gets that full $10 million.