The Chicago Cubs and left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson have agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million, as the 28-year-old flew into Chicago late last night to take his physical, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
The Cubs have likely added the lefty as depth as manager Joe Maddon has mentioned he plans on using a 6-man rotation during the season. Anderson, when healthy, has proven to be a useful piece but has only thrown over 100 innings three times in his career.
However, with a career 3.86 ERA and 58.2% ground ball rate, Anderson can be one of the most difficult pitchers to hit when his stuff is on. Anderson’s curveball plays off his fastball well, as both generate a healthy amount of ground balls. And with the Cubs defense being historically good last season, Anderson could be a pleasant surprise in 2017 if he can stay healthy – and that’s a big if.
The former Dodgers deal includes $10 million in incentives, which we can assume have to do with Anderson’s injury history. One unusual wrinkle in this signing includes a highly critical tweet on Cubs fans from Anderson that came during last season’s NLCS when Anderson’s family was drenched in beer by fans sitting nearby.
While Anderson has some ground to be upset he did just happen to call out an entire fan base, one he now plays for, which should make his Wrigley Field debut amusing at the very least. \Adding Brett Anderson to the mix helps offset the Cubs missing on Tyson Ross, but also gives them a quality arm to lean on this season in order to keep Jon Lester, John Lackey, and even Jake Arrieta fresh come postseason.