Despite making just 25 starts in 2017 thanks to an oblique injury, Brewers righty Chase Anderson was worth 3.3 fWAR, which ranked among the top 20 in all of baseball this season. Moreover, his 2.74 ERA (6th best) and 3.58 FIP (17th best) more or less solidify that he was actually one of the best pitchers in the league in 2017
And the Brewers just signed him to a pretty darn team-friendly deal:
Anderson gets $1M bonus, $4.25M in '18, $6M in '19.
Club options $8.5M in '20, $9.5M in '21. $500K buyouts of each.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) October 26, 2017
Last offseason, Anderson, 29, became arbitration eligible for the first time in his career (he was a Super Two guy, to boot, which means he would’ve had four cracks at it), but lost his case and was forced to settle for $2.45 million. After a solid year on the mound in Milwaukee, Anderson decided to forego the arbitration process altogether, and sign a deal covering the remaining three years of team control plus one year of free agency.
But make no mistake, this is a fantastic deal for the Brewers.
MLB Trade Rumors projected a $5.4M salary for Anderson in 2018, but now he’ll take home just $4.25 million (plus a $1M signing bonus) next season. After that, he’ll cost the Brewers just $6 million in 2019 with a club option for $8.5 million in 2020 (with a $500K buyout). Then in 2021, when he would’ve been a free agent, the Brewers will have the option of keeping him around for just $9.5 million or buying out his contract, again, for just $500K. That’s what they call team friendly.
But I understand why he made this deal. Anderson was drafted in the ninth round back in 2009, signing with the Diamondbacks for just $85,000. Basically, he hasn’t really cashed in on his big league career yet as he approaches 30. Now, however, he’s just guaranteed himself at least around $12 million – which is life changing money – with the chance to earn up to $30.45 million.
And here’s the other thing: Even if the Brewers buy out his contract a year early (2020), he’ll be able to take them to arbitration (if they tender him a contract) for a salary deemed appropriate for a pitcher of his caliber, whatever that may be at the time. And with the possibility of $400K in incentives year-to-year, he could make some nice dough by the end of this.
… But yeah, make no mistake: this was net-great for the Brewers, who get to keep one of the best pitchers in baseball last season around – CHEAPLY – for at least another four years.