Angels signs Tyler Anderson

3:04 PM: It’s a three-year, $39 million deal for MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand Anderson tweet.

15:02: The Angels agree on a left-handed free agent contract Tyler Andersenreports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Anderson had received a one-year offer of $19.65 million, but his deal with the Halos means he’s turning that down for a more lucrative pact. Anderson’s contract is a three-year deal worth about $40 million, Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds. Anderson is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.

Tyler Andersen

Anderson, 33 in December, turned in a career-best season with the Dodgers in 2022, pitching to a 2.57 ERA in a career-high 178 2/3 innings. Along the way, he knocked out 19.5% of his opponents at a running speed of 4.8% and a ground ball speed of 40.1%.

A former Rockies first-round pick (No. 20 overall, in 2011), Anderson showed promise as a rookie in 2016 (3.54 ERA in 114 1/3 innings) before struggling at Coors Field and eventually a free serious knee injury that derailed some of his best years. Anderson was diagnosed with a chondral defect in the cartilage of his left knee, sidelining him for the better part of a year and leading to the end of his tenure with the Rockies.

Since leaving Colorado, Anderson’s return to the big league has been impressive to say the least. Signed to a one-year make-good deal by the Giants heading into 2020, Anderson did just that in the Covid-shortened season. A 4.37 ERA in 11 starts/13 total appearances wasn’t exactly eye-watering, but it earned him another big league-deal with the Pirates the following season. Both the Phillies and Mariners went hard after Anderson at the ’21 trade deadline, with the southpaw eventually landing in Seattle. His 31 starts of about league average pitching earned him a belated one-year contract with the Dodgers.

As they so often do, the Dodgers found a way to take Anderson to a new level in 2022. . RJ Anderson of CBS Sports points out that Anderson also moved away from an alternating grip he had been using for the past several years and went back to an old grip that ended up generating more drop and limiting hard contact more effectively than ever before. Anderson was in the 98th percentile of MLB pitchers in terms of average run-out speed and number of opponent hard hits, and he was in the 95th percentile in terms of opponents’ chase percentage on pitches off the plate.

It’s now up to the Angels to help Anderson maintain the 2022 version of himself, even into his mid-30s. It is the first multi-year contract of Anderson’s career and, more surprisingly, the first multi-year contract the Angels have handed out to a free-agent starting pitcher since signing. Joe Blankon ten years and three general managers ago. Owner Arte Moreno has seemingly been averse to multi-year pacts for free starters in all but a few special cases – the Halos continued Gerrit Cole, for example – and it will be Anderson who bucks that trend at a time when Moreno is exploring a possible sale of the franchise. It is also the second straight winter in which Moreno and general manager Perry Minasian have jumped on the market to sign a pitcher who had received a qualifying offer; the Angels signed Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $21 million contract last year before his QO decision had to be formally made.

Anderson will step into a rotation led by two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, giving manager Phil Nevin a fourth southpaw to follow his ace into the rotation. The Trio of Angels Patrick Sandoval, Reid Demers and Jose Suarez enjoyed, somewhat under the radar, a very productive 2022 season.

Adding Anderson gives the Angels a strong quintet to lean on, and the Halos have a handful of internal options to complete a six-man rotation if they’d rather give Ohtani an extra day of rest. Justify Pursue Silseth, Griffin canning, Chris Rodriguez, Jason Junk, Touki Toussaint and Davis Daniel are all on the 40-man roster, as are left-handers Tucker Davidson, Jonathan Diaz and Kenny Rosenberg. That certainly doesn’t rule out further additions, and it’s possible that some of those depth options won’t even hold up on the 40-man roster for the entire off-season.

The annual breakdown of Anderson’s deal is not yet known, though it’s tentatively believed the Halos are expected to be worth $173 million for the 2023 season, according to Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez. For luxury tax purposes, the Anderson deal pushes the Angels to an expected $187.5 million.

The Angels opened the 2022 season with a franchise record $188.6 million, so signing Anderson already takes them to about $15 million from their all-time high. With several gaps to fill around the roster — corner infield, maybe outfield, bullpen — they likely have a ticket for what will be a third consecutive season to aim for a new franchise record.

Since the Dodgers paid the luxury tax in 2022, their compensation for Anderson’s loss will be a choice between the fourth and fifth rounds of next year’s draft. Meanwhile, as a team that did not receive a revenue share and also did not pay a luxury tax, the Angels will turn in their second-highest draft roster and see their league-allocated international bonus pool reduced by $500,000.

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