The Colorado Rockies declined their $12 million team option for 2015 on LHP Brett Anderson. The Rockies will pay Anderson a $1.5 million buyout as a result of the decision. The 26 year-old will become a free agent.
Who has 2 thumbs and is a free agent...this guy.— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson_30) November 1, 2014
Anderson, who was acquired by the Rockies last offseason in exchange for former top prospect Drew Pomeranz, is an extremely talented pitcher and one who seemed like the perfect kind of pitcher for Colorado to use in their rotation.
Unfortunately, a freak broken finger sustained while batting in his third start and a back injury in his eighth limited Anderson to just 43 1/3 innings pitched this year for the Rockies. The fact that those innings were so excellent (he had a 2.91 ERA, 2.99 FIP, and 147 ERA+) made the injuries all the more frustrating and complicated the decision on his 2015 option somewhat.
Ultimately, the Rockies decided that the injury risk was not worth tying up $12 million in payroll for the lefty. This move does not preclude Colorado from bringing back Anderson at a lower average annual value on an incentive-laden deal, though a number of other teams will also have this idea.
Here's hoping they get a deal done, but if not, the Rockies will have $10.5 million freed up for next year's payroll. A lot of this money will go to raises for existing contracts and salary arbitration, but in any case the Rockies have added some flexibility with this move.