Phillies Three Free Agent Starting Pitching Possibilities

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Oct 12, 2015; New York City, NY, USA;

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Anderson (35) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets in game three of the NLDS at Citi Field.

(Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)


Let’s say you are Brett Anderson. In no way are you considered one of baseball’s elite starting pitchers. Over seven seasons in Major League Baseball, you have made approximately $30 million total. You are now a free agent for the first time. You are just 27 years old, turning 28 just as spring training will open for 2016.

Now consider that your previous team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, has offered you a $15.8 million qualifying offer for one season. It’s over $3 million more than you have ever made previously. It could be tempting to accept that offer, return to the great pitching environment and winning situation in LA, and go back into the free agent market next fall.

For a rebuilding team such as the Phillies, you could get a starting pitcher who will throw the entire season at that age 28. His agents will likely be looking for at least a five-year deal. That would take him through his age 32 season, and make him a free agent once again at an age that would see him have a chance to get yet another big deal.

Anderson is left-handed, yet another plus in his column. A free agent contract for him would probably approach that $100 million level. That will seem excessive to many. But when you factor in his age, the lefty status, and that he made a career-high 31 starts in 2015, it is a reasonable expectation for his representative to be looking for that type of deal.

There might be an argument for Anderson to be a target for a team like the Phillies based on age and cost. However, those are not the only issues with Anderson. First is that QO from the Dodgers, which means, as with Zimmermann, that the Phils would need to be willing to give up their highest unprotected 2016 draft pick.

The other consideration on the minus side for Anderson is his physical history. He has not historically kept himself in the best shape. Listed at 6’3 and 240 pounds, that weight might be generous on the low side. While he made 3o starts as a 21-year old rookie with the Oakland A’s back in 2009, he never approached that level again until last season due to various ailments, including back problems.

Committing $75-100 million in Brett Anderson for five years while also giving up a Top 40 draft pick just seems too risky at this time for this Phillies team. He is going to cash in on his healthy, reasonably productive 2015 season, but it should not be here in Philly.

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