The New York Yankees have signed Jacoby Ellsbury and are close to a deal with Kelly Johnson. That could make a few of their own players available in a trade, perhaps to land a starting pitcher which remains their biggest hole on the roster right now. The trade market is pretty thin right now but it does have a few names being floated around like Brandon Phillips, David Price and Brett Anderson.
The Oakland Athletics have been a very active team in the last week and have added pieces to their rotation in Scott Kazmir and revamped an already strong bullpen with Luke Gregerson and Jim Johnson. This has led many to believe Anderson could very well be on the block.
The Yankees right now have only C.C. Sabathia and Ivan Nova penciled into the rotation. They do have Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Michael Pineda as options behind them but all come with their own questions marks. Even Sabathia, who is coming off of his worst season, comes with questions as does Nova who has flirted with being a frontline and sixth or seventh starter with his inconsistencies.
Anderson is not without his own questions. He has a history of elbow problems, including Tommy John surgery in 2011, and last season spent a lot of time on the DL with an ankle issue and was sent to the bullpen to finish out the year.
In 84 games, 73 starts, across five years in the Major Leagues, Anderson has a 26-29 record, 3.81 ERA, 7.1 K/9 ratio, 1.28 WHIP and a very manageable .8 HR/9 ratio. Anderson’s biggest bugaboo is the fact he hasn’t exceeded 100 innings since 2010 when he compiled 112.1 innings.
Adding Anderson would only make send for the Yankees if they can sign two other starting pitchers. They can’t rely on Anderson for 150 innings and might not be able to rely on him for 100 innings. However, Anderson is turning just 26 in February and even with his injury history could be worth the risk. Obviously, the Yankees can’t give up any top prospects for Anderson who is too big of a gamble to do that.
Right now, nothing is being discussed; at least nothing that is making it public. The Yankees have been linked to him though and they do have at least two spot, and possibly three spots, open or up for grabs in their rotation and their bullpen is also far from settled.
Anderson could make sense for the Yankees depending on what they would have to give up in order to acquire him. He is a risk, just as Jacoby Ellsbury is and just as counting on Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Ellsbury and Brian McCann is a risk. Anderson could be worth the risk as a back of the rotation arm.