Then the Braves non-tendered seven players. They have 30 players on their 40-man roster.
Last offseason, the Royals had interest in Anderson, but the Braves ultimately signed him. Now, Anderson should be one of Kansas City’s top relievers for 2024 – if healthy.
In 2023, Anderson pitched well before going on the 60-day injured list. In 35-1/3 innings of work, he posted a 3.06 ERA and struck out 36 batters. He battled himself at times as he tried to separate himself from a previous injury. But he proved he could still be a reliable reliever.
In July, he sustained a right shoulder strain. He felt discomfort and soreness on the back side of his shoulder, near his armpit. The team decided to place him on the 60-day injured list, which effectively ended his season as he never pitched in the majors for the Braves again. He didn’t make the National League Division Series roster.
The Braves likely could’ve brought back Anderson for around $950,000. He’s in his second year of arbitration, but probably has lost some leverage because of recent injuries.
But the Braves have been rapidly filling their bullpen. Anderson might not have made the opening-day roster.
Less than 24 hours before dealing Anderson, the Braves acquired left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer from the White Sox for Soroka, Lopez, Jared Shuster, Braden Shewmake and minor-league righty Riley Gowens.
At this point, Bummer, Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter, Pierce Johnson, Joe Jiménez, Tyler Matzek (Tommy John rehab) and Dylan Lee (left shoulder cleanup procedure) appear to hold seven of eight bullpen spots, assuming nothing changes.
Kansas City is a nice landing spot for Anderson. He should be part of the opening-day rotation there and could pitch in high-leverage spots. He can build his value. With the Braves, he would’ve been competing for a spot in the bullpen, with no guarantees.
Anderson pitched only six big-league innings in 2021 and eventually underwent UCL brace surgery, which kept him away from the majors for all of 2022. The Braves signed him to a one-year split contract last offseason. He made the opening-day roster and performed nicely until the shoulder strain.
Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk and president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos have said that payroll will increase for next year. By how much? That’s unclear.
But the Braves have been active this month as they begin trying to strengthen their odds for another World Series ring.