A's bring back left-hander Brett Anderson

Club inks veteran pitcher to 1-year, $1.5 million deal

February 12th, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's are slowly but surely filling in a once-blank rotation, most recently welcoming back into the fold.

It was around this time last year the veteran lefty ran into A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane at a local gym, leading to a Minor League pact that morphed into a big league opportunity in May.

There was no chance run-in this time around.

"I didn't have to stalk him," Anderson joked.

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The two sides came to an agreement on a Major League deal worth $1.5 million, plus incentives, that was made official Wednesday.

"Good enough to come to the big league field this time, apparently," the pitcher quipped.

"It's good to be back. Baseball's kind of in a weird spot with the market and guys that are unsigned, but it's always nice to be with a team and a team I'm familiar with, obviously."

Anderson made 17 starts in between a pair of disabled list stints for a patchwork A's rotation last year, pitching to a 4.48 ERA in 80 1/3 innings. He completed at least six innings seven times, but he also went fewer than four innings on seven occasions.

"When you have the type of team, the success that we had, the clubhouse that we had, you want to try to get as many guys back that you possibly can, so anybody that was here last year we welcome back with open arms, and he pitched some really good games for us," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's all about keeping him healthy."

The injury-prone pitcher, now 31, is entering his 11th big league season -- and seventh with the A's, with whom he debuted in 2009. He spent the offseason working out alongside another member of Oakland's 2018 playoff team, , who remains unemployed following a solid bounce-back campaign.

"Hopefully he gets a job soon," Anderson said, "because he's the best and he deserves it."

The right-handed Jackson and the A's, per sources, aren't close on a deal, and a reunion is unlikely. At one point, he was believed to be seeking a multiyear deal as he enters his age-35 season.

Anderson, meanwhile, appears third in line in a rotation headed by right-handers and . A lengthy list of candidates to fill the final two spots includes , , , , and top prospect Jesus Luzardo.

Anderson saw video of Luzardo after watching film of his own live BP session some time ago, and "it made me depressed," he said, "because my first bullet was 90 and his was 97, and I was like, that's not fun."

Anderson at least hopes to provide the A's the volume of innings they need. The ground-ball pitcher will once again have a steady defense to support him.

"I had some good spurts and some bad spurts," he said. "You take away a couple starts and the year changes for me, but for the most part when I went out there, I felt like I gave us a chance to win."

To make room on the 40-man roster for Anderson, the A's placed rehabbing lefty on the 60-day disabled list.