Pittsburgh Pirates: Left Feels Right With Free Agent Pitching Targets

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Brett Anderson #42 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on August 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Brett Anderson #42 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on August 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 20: Tyler Anderson #31 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 20, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 20: Tyler Anderson #31 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 20, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

After spending nearly four years in the hitter’s haven that is Coors Field, Tyler Anderson was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants in 2019 and brought back for 1yr/$1.775M in 2020.

Anderson worked mostly as a starter to the tune of a 4.37 ERA, 6.18 K/9, and 4.36 FIP. Historically an 8.00+ K/9 pitcher, Anderson threw only 59.2 innings in a season that saw a significant decline in his fastball velocity (-1.1 MPH from 2019) and subsequent strikeout rate (-3.84 K/9 from 2019). To bo honest, it was a surprise that the Giants non-tendered Anderson.

Despite the disturbing trends mentioned above, Anderson has some solid baseball in his rearview mirror and hopefully more in the future. For example, from 2016-2018, he threw 376 innings of 4.31 ERA ball in a hitter-friendly park while striking out 8.00+ batters per nine innings.

Anderson was non-tendered by the Giants, so the Pirates could potentially sign Anderson to a reasonable, incentive-laden, single year deal to strengthen the rotation with a former first round pick. Anderson could use 2021 to rebuild some of his capital in a pitcher-friendly ballpark without a DH looming in each opposing lineup.

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