The Pittsburgh Pirates have been in the market for a veteran starting pitcher. They have found their pitcher.
Over the last few weeks, Pittsburgh Pirates GM Ben Cherington has expressed his interest in adding a few veteran depth pieces. He started this process last week when he agreed to terms with veteran players Brian Goodwin and Tony Wolters. After those signings, Cherington continued to express the desire to add a veteran starter.
Well, it looks like they have found their arm. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be signing left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson. Anderson is a 31-year-old lefty who has spent time with the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants. Anderson definitely represents that veteran starter that Cherington was talking about. Here is Rosenthal’s tweet below:
Anderson has made 82 big league starts, with 71 of them coming as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Overall his career ERA is 4.65 between the Rockies and Giants, with most of that coming with the Rockies. He made his debut in 2016 with Colorado, making 19 starts and pitching to a solid 3.54 ERA. That would be Anderson’s most successful season as he would watch his ERA climb over the next few years.
He settled in with the Giants last season and pitched to a very respectable 4.37 ERA. He did see his strikeout rate drop some, but still managed by walking under 10% of the batters faced. A big thing the Pittsburgh Pirates will try to do with Anderson is to get that K-Rate back up around 8-9. For comparison, he only struck out 6 hitters per 9 innings in 2020.
The interesting thing about the deal is that it is a Major League Contract. This means the Pittsburgh Pirates anticipate him being on the Opening Day Roster. So what could this mean? Another potential trade could be in the works, or at least more serious exploration. The obvious player to trade would be Steven Brault, who is a lefty without a rotation spot. However, the team could look to move Chad Kuhl as well, there has been reported interest in the hard-throwing righty.
Regardless, this is a solid pickup for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Anderson is a solid, backend of the rotation pitcher who may have some upside in his numbers. After all, he has pitched the bulk of his career in Colorado. With one year remaining on his contract, and the chance for him to provide a more normal backend of the rotation numbers, Anderson could be a nice trade chip at this year’s deadline. Check back later for more analysis on Tyler Anderson.