Shaw returns to Crew; Anderson, too (report)

February 23rd, 2021

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers on Tuesday announced the return of one familiar face, agreeing to a Minor League deal with that includes an invite to Major League Spring Training.

The club also reportedly has a one-year, $2.5 million contract to bring back free-agent left-hander . The club has not confirmed the Anderson move, which is pending a physical.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the agreement with Anderson. A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that Shaw's deal would pay him $1.5 million with another $1.5 million in incentives if he makes the club. He can opt out of the contract on March 15 if he’s not on the roster.

Anderson posted a 4.21 ERA in 10 starts spanning 47 innings during the shortened 2020 season after signing with Milwaukee on a one-year deal. Bringing him back would make sense on a number of fronts, chiefly to add depth as the Brewers and other teams navigate the jump from 60 games in the regular season to a scheduled 162.

The Brewers entered the week with a pool of starters led by 2019 All-Star Brandon Woodruff and 2020 National League Cy Young Award contender Corbin Burnes. Veteran Josh Lindblom is a lock for the rotation entering his second season with the Brewers, and others in the mix to make starts include Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer and Freddy Peralta, plus Brent Suter as a potential spot starter. The Brewers also recently signed former Nationals ace Jordan Zimmermann to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league camp. He’ll report as a starter.

Of those pitchers, only Lauer and Suter are left-handed. Anderson would provide additional balance.

Anderson, 33, has pitched parts of 12 Major League seasons for the A’s, Rockies, Dodgers, Cubs, Blue Jays and Brewers. He’s been effective when healthy, including a 2019 season with Oakland in which he had a 3.89 ERA in 31 starts. Anderson was sidelined by a blister on his pitching hand at the start of last season and again at the end, costing him a chance to pitch in the NL Wild Card Series against the Dodgers.

Shaw, 30, was a top producer for Milwaukee in 2017 and ’18, when he exceeded 30 home runs and 3.5 fWAR each season. But he slumped in 2019 and spent much of the year in the Minors, then signed with Toronto and posted a .717 OPS in 50 games in 2020. The Blue Jays non-tendered Shaw rather than take him through arbitration.

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“I’m looking forward to coming back,” Shaw said. “It’s a talented group of guys, and the fit and opportunity was something that really appealed to me as the offseason went on. Looking forward to competing for that spot at third base. I still feel like I have a lot of good baseball in me and I’m excited to go out and prove it and earn my way here.”

Shaw will be walking into a good opportunity with the Brewers, who are unsettled at third base.