On Tuesday afternoon, the day before the Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers and catchers were set to hold their first official workout of the season, General Manager Ben Cherington finally pulled the trigger on a veteran pitcher, lefty Tyler Anderson, to add to mostly inexperienced and vastly unproven starting rotation; a move that Cherington implied would eventually happen after finalizing his most recent trade of the offseason, as he and others the Pirates front office would “likely shift our energy back toward adding to the team.”.
When pressed on the issue, ever so slightly, during the same media session he expanded on the need to fill some of the voids in the rotation left by the departures of Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon, as well as Trevor Williams and Chris Archer if we are keeping track. Cherington informed those present that, “We’re open to adding more than one, whether that’s through free agency, a trade or some mix of that,”, which is pretty much what just happened.
Of course this wasn’t the first time Cherington called his own shot. Earlier in the off-season, following the Josh Bell trade, he told reporters that this, “Likely won’t be the last one. There will probably be more. I’m not saying that to predict anything. That’s the realization.” Over the next month Musgrove and Taillon were traded as well.
Following the Musgrove trade he alluded to adding additional pieces via trade or free agency, even though the already had some “oars in the water”. The key positions of need he punctuated were pitchers, both starters and bullpen arms, the outfield and catcher. Since then he has signed catchers Joe Hudson and Tony Wolters, outfielder Brian Goodwin, relief pitcher Chasen Shreve and obviously Mr. Anderson; while adding pitcher Miguel Yajure to the already acquired duo of Wil Crowe and David Bednar.
Now, if you came here looking for insight on the most recent Pirates free agent signing, I’m sorry to disappoint you. There’s not much more to add on to the spin rates, exit velocities, pitch mixes and stats of Anderson’s 5 year Major League career that have been reported and tweeted at length since the $2.5 million signing. He is a 31 year old former first round pick, who has accumulated 6.4 WAR over 456.2 innings with the Rockies and Giants. At worst he adds depth and experience to the rotation as a capable starter and innings eater. Take it for what it’s worth, AND maybe start to take General Manager Ben Cherington at his word.