The Rockies have landed a solid starting pitcher to plug the gaping hole at the bottom of their rotation with the acquisition of lefty Brett Anderson.
The Rockies will send lefty Drew Pomeranz and fringe prospect Chris Jensen, who spent last year in Modesto, to Oakland. Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the trade, which the team later announced.
When healthy, Anderson has been a formidable southpaw, posting a career 3.81 ERA and still rates above average even when you adjust for Oakland's pitcher friendly park. He throws four pitches for strikes. A fastball that generally sits around 92 MPH, a low to mid 80's change up, a curve ball, and his most effective weapon, the slider.
The red flag surrounding Anderson is his ability to stay on the field. Over the last three seasons, he's started just 24 games and he's only reached 20 starts once in a season -- all the way back in 2009. Here's a brief synopsis of Anderson's injury history:
- 2010 - Forearm strain (missed almost half the season)
- 2011 - Tommy John Surgery (made 13 starts before undergoing Tommy John Surgery in June)
- 2012 - Recovery from Tommy John Surgery (made six starts before landing on the DL with a side oblique strain)
- 2013 - Ankle injury (appeared in 6 games before suffering an ankle injury, later revealed to have stress fracture in his right foot)
Anderson is owed $8 million in 2014 with a $12 million option in 2015. The option includes a $1.5 million buyout if the Rockies want to hit the ejection button. The A's will be picking up a $2 million piece of this pie.
In Pomeranz, the Rockies lose the center piece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade from 2011. In a disappointing tenure with the Rockies, Pomeranz made just 30 starts, posted a 5.20 ERA, and walked 4.6 batters per nine innings. Still, Pomeranz showed potential down the stretch when he recovered from a biceps injury and pitched out of the bullpen. There's still a very real chance that he puts things together in Oakland.
This deal is a gamble for the Rockies, but with the price of pitching on the free agent market, it's a gamble that may be worth taking.