Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Brett Anderson reacts during the 8th inning in game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Oakland Athletics Trade Brett Anderson?


Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Brett Anderson has drawn trade interest from teams around Major League Baseball and the Athletics are reportedly open to a deal. The Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians have emerged as the most likely destinations for the 25-year-old left-hander.

Anderson debuted for the Athletics at the young age of 21, but injuries have forced him to spend much of the past three seasons watching from the dugout.

Early in his career, Brett Anderson was an ace. After holding his own in his rookie year, he broke out in his sophomore season. Although he missed some time due to injury, he was 7-6 with an ERA of 2.80 as a 22-year-old. The Athletics believed he was their No. 1 for the present and the future.

Injuries ended that notion. Tommy John surgery in 2011 ended his third season. He returned from the surgery in 2012 only to make six starts, albeit good starts, before an oblique strain put him on the bench. He struggled early in the 2013 season before a suffering a stress fracture in his right foot. He returned to the bullpen later in the season but his struggles continued into the playoffs.

Injuries aside, many people would agree that Brett Anderson can still be a very good pitcher. With the exception of the 2013 season, Anderson has pitched effectively when he hasn’t been injured. If he gets back to the level of play he exhibited earlier in his career, he will be a top of the rotation pitcher. Anderson is also only 25 years old. It is still quite possible that he has many solid years ahead of him. This high-reward possibility is the main thing that makes the A’s wary of letting him go, but it is also what gives him value on the trade market.

Of course, the Athletics need to take Brett Anderson’s injury history into account when deciding whether to trade him or not. There are, however, other reasons that he could be on his way out of Oakland.

First off, Brett Anderson had pitching troubles last season. There is no guarantee that, even without injury, he will be the pitcher he was before 2013.

Secondly, The A’s would pay Anderson $8 million this upcoming season. If injuries strike again, the Athletics waste of a large sum of money that could be directed elsewhere, toward Bartolo Colon, for example. If they trade Anderson for promising prospects, the Athletics would free up money that could be invested somewhere more secure.

Depth at the starting pitcher position also makes a Brett Anderson trade look like a good move. The signing of Scott Kazmir gives the A’s eight starting pitchers, including Anderson, that can hold their own in the MLB. This pitching depth allows the A’s to make the Anderson deal without creating a hole in the starting rotation.

All the pieces are in place for the Oakland Athletics to make a deal involving Brett Anderson. A well executed deal could make the A’s World Series contenders.

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