Giants free-agent target: LHP Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson and Giants team president Farhan Zaidi have a long history together.
Zaidi was the Oakland Athletics assistant general manager when Anderson came up with the Athletics. Then, as the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager, Zaidi brought Anderson in as a free agent in 2015. Those long-standing ties could play a role this offseason.
After struggling to the tune of a 7.29 ERA between 2016 and 2017 with stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, and Chicago, Anderson rediscovered himself after returning to Oakland in 2018.
Over the past two seasons, the southpaw has posted a 4.07 ERA with 137 strikeouts across 256.1 innings. He has never accumulated high strikeout totals, but this is one area that has been on a gradual decline as his career has evolved.
Similar to Roark, the 31-year-old relies on avoiding hard contact. In comparison to Roark, Anderson is even more of a ground ball machine with a 56.8 percent ground ball rate for his career.
The left-hander is not much of an innings-eater, though.
In 2019, Anderson piled up 176 innings in 31 starts. While that innings total is good in today’s game where the 200-inning pitcher is becoming a thing of the past, it only comes out to 5.2 innings per start.
His career renaissance with the Athletics could be due in part to usage. If he is averaging 5.2 innings per start, then his performance is likely being optimized by not exposing him to a third turn through the lineup.
With the game trending more toward strikeout-heavy pitchers, Anderson’s skill set could fly under the radar. That might present an opportunity for Zaidi to revisit their long-standing relationship yet again.