To some surprise, today’s deadline for players to accept qualifying offers passed with Brett Anderson accepting the deal from the Dodgers. That was the surprise. To no one’s surprise, Howie Kendrick and Zack Greinke rejected the offers.
If/when Kendrick and/or Greinke sign elsewhere, the Dodgers will get a supplemental first-round draft pick sandwiched between the first- and second rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft.
To be honest, I’m a little disappointed because I wanted the Dodgers to get the draft pick. I know, you’re shocked. But having Anderson back helps to shape the 2016 rotation. He’ll earn $15.8 million on his 1-year deal and cannot be traded until June 15 at the earliest.
Anderson, 27, just established a career-best 180 1/3 innings in 2015 — the first time he had logged more than 100 since 2010 (his age-22 season). He was a solid starter for the Dodgers in 2015 and should be a fine back-of-the-rotation guy for them in 2016. The fact that he was thrust into the third starter spot because of injuries ultimately hurt his overall numbers. He also got lit up by the Mets in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, which doesn’t sit well. But, he’s still young and lead the majors in ground ball percentage. His stuff plays up nicely in Dodger Stadium and might play up a little more if the Dodgers get better defensively at second base.
His strikeout rate ended up at 15.5 percent, firmly in the below-average-to-poor percentile. But he isn’t a strikeout pitcher. His swinging strike rate was just 7 percent, and while it’d be nice to see him get that to double-digits, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Also, as of now, next year’s starting pitcher crop is pretty barren. Aside from Stephen Strasburg, Anderson could very well be the next-best starter available. Arguments could be made for Clay Buchholz and Andrew Cashner, but if Anderson pitches a bit better than he did in 2015, he could land a multi-year deal on the open market. Two years of solid health from him would only make his future payday even better.
With Anderson coming back, here’s how the Dodgers’ rotation looks right now.
- Clayton Kershaw
- Brett Anderson
- Alex Wood
- Mike Bolsinger
- Carlos Frias
Yeah, that needs some work, especially seeing as Bolsinger and Frias are better-suited for either spot-starts (Bolsinger) or relief work (Frias). The Dodgers also might get contributions from the following guys in 2016.
- Jose De Leon
- Zach Lee
- Brandon McCarthy
- Hyun-Jin Ryu
- Ross Stripling
- Ian Thomas
- Julio Urias
- Joe Wieland
None of these guys are absolutely guaranteed to produce, but if Ryu can somehow come back and be somewhat close to his former self, that would help. I’m not counting on it, but it’d be nice. McCarthy should be back at some point in the second half, while everyone else is a youngster and/or prospect.
Bottom line is, the Dodgers need to land Greinke or David Price. I’m confident they’ll get at least one of them. If they get any other starter of significance this winter, I’m betting it’d come via the trade market. At this point, I don’t see Kendrick coming back, so the Dodgers should be able to gain an extra draft pick after he signs elsewhere.
Welcome back, Brett. Here’s to another year of good health.