Three SF Giants Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Targets:
2. Brett Anderson
Giants fans may remember Brett Anderson from his days as a member of the dreaded Los Angeles Dodgers. More recently, he has pitched for the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers over the previous three seasons. If Paxton is known for his ability to strike guys out, Anderson is known for getting guys to hit the ball on the ground.
Anderson is a four-pitch guy-fastball, slider, curveball, changeup- and his fastball resides mainly in the low 90’s. Taking a look at his recent statistics, Anderson performed in his last season with the A’s. In 2019 he went 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 31 starts with 176 innings pitched. It was arguably his best season as a pro since he was with the Dodgers in 2015, in which he went 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA in 180 innings.
In 2019 Anderson recorded the lowest strikeout rate among eligible pitchers. This shows the beauty of baseball in that there are many ways to get the job done. Paxton throws heat and strikes guys out while Anderson keeps the infield busy, and they both recorded solid seasons in 2019.
Anderson’s solid 2019 earned him a $5 million contract with the Brewers in 2020. He made 10 starts for the Brewers last season, going 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA. Not as impressive as his 2019 numbers, but still respectable, and numbers like those would have been welcomed on the 2020 Giants team.
It’s hard to envision Anderson commanding a larger contract than what he received from the Brewers this season. While he may not be the reclamation project-type that Farhan Zaidi has seemed inclined to target, he would provide the Giants rotation with a solid left-handed veteran who puts the ball on the ground and keeps the team in the game. Without much consistency in the starting rotation, he could be a safer arm to help solidify the group.