The offseason has not yet arrived, but that hasn’t stopped the San Francisco Giants from making moves. Tyler Anderson was claimed off waivers on Thursday.
The San Francisco Giants haven’t played a game in over a month, but that hasn’t stopped the front office from continuing to play the waiver wire.
Throughout the 2019 season, team president Farhan Zaidi put in one waiver claim after another, searching for value in other team’s cast-offs.
It’s a low-risk approach that makes perfect sense for a rebuilding team looking to unearth a few diamonds in the rough.
Could they have found one on Thursday?
So who is Tyler Anderson?
The 29-year-old was the No. 20 overall pick in the 2011 draft after a standout junior season at the University of Oregon, and he made his MLB debut on June 12, 2016.
While he dealt with some ups and downs, he a serviceable starter during his first three seasons in the majors, posting a 4.30 ERA and 112 ERA+ in 66 starts spanning 376.1 innings.
He was worth 3.2 WAR as a rookie in 2016 and 3.0 WAR during a 2018 season that saw him make 32 starts and throw 176 innings for a playoff-bound Rockies team.
Unfortunately, 2019 was essentially a lost season.
Slowed by a nagging knee injury from the get-go, he made just five starts, struggling to an unsightly 11.76 ERA with eight home runs allowed in just 20.2 innings.
After making $2.63 million in 2019 and with a $2.625 million projected arbitration salary, the Rockies decided to cut ties, and the Giants scooped him up hoping to hit on a low-cost bounce-back candidate.
Assuming a full offseason of rest and rehab will allow him to put the knee issues in the rearview, this looks like a great roll of the dice by the Giants.
At the very least, it’s worth getting a look at him in spring training, and if he does return to form he’s under team control through the 2021 season and he would add some welcome experience to a young starting staff behind Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto.