UPDATE: The Phillies’ deal for Anderson fell through — he was ultimately traded to the Mariners. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The Philadelphia Phillies have officially made a trade.
No, it wasn’t for Craig Kimbrel, Byron Buxton, or Kris Bryant — it was for a player who fills an immediate position of need, one who didn’t require a significant trade package to be sent back in return.
According to a handful of sources (both national and local), here’s how the trade for left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson ended up shaking out:
Cristian Hernandez is a 20 year old right-handed pitcher who is currently in single-A, and Abrahan Gutierrez is a 21 year old catcher who is also down in single-A. Neither Hernandez nor Gutierrez are top-25 prospects in the Phillies farm system. In simpler terms, Dave Dombrowski paid a rather small price for Anderson and his services.
Anderson arrives to Philadelphia after 18 starts in Pittsburgh, 18 starts that saw the southpaw establish himself as a reliable fourth or fifth starter.
Here’s a bit of what I wrote about Anderson earlier this past weekend when rumors began to emerge about the Phillies being interested:
"Anderson isn’t all that flashy, but he’s a reliable fourth starter who would instantly provide the Phillies with a rotational boost. Anderson is rocking a 4.35 ERA over 18 starts this season, which is almost identical to the 4.37 ERA that he posted with the Giants in 2020.Anderson is also averaging 5.74 innings pitched per start this season, which is a rather important statistic due to the weak bullpen that the Phillies employ at the moment. The constant early exits from Moore and Velasquez have put a ton of unnecessary strain on the ‘pen this year, something that Anderson (in theory) would be able to limit (should he end up in Philadelphia moving forward).As highlighted by Jon Morosi in the above pinned tweet, one of the best parts about Anderson is his smaller-than-average salary. He’s owed just over $1 million for the remainder of the year, which would help keep the Phillies below the luxury tax threshold (should owner John Middleton not approve going over).Anderson is on an expiring deal, which doesn’t help the Phillies in their pursuit of building a longterm, more established rotation — but it should reduce the Pirates overall asking price. Dombrowski doesn’t exactly have an abundance of prospects to offer teams at this year’s trade deadline, so settling for cheaper “rental” type acquisitions might just be the best plan of attack."
The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired LHP Tyler Anderson.
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As mentioned in my initial article, Anderson is nothing flashy. However, he does fit the mold of the type of pitcher the Phillies need in their rotation moving forward. Between Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore, and Spencer Howard, the Phillies were essentially desperate for a starter who could actually make it past the fifth inning with a sense of regularity. Anderson averages 5.74 innings pitched per start this season, so that (hopefully) shouldn’t be a problem.
While there are plenty of arms out there who could’ve come in and leapfrogged Zach Eflin in the team’s rotational pecking order, the Philadelphia Phillies simply weren’t in a position to deal away top prospects at this year’s trade deadline. While they’re only 3.5 games out of first place in the NL East, aggressively buying when you’re struggling to stay over .500 is never a wise idea.
Anderson should – in theory – be the best of both worlds for Dave Dombrowski. A rental arm to come in and provide meaningful innings at the back-end of the rotation, who didn’t require losing a top prospect.
Can Anderson “save the rotation” per se? No, probably not. The Phillies are likely still one more starting pitcher away from having a playoff-caliber rotation. However, it’s undoubtedly a step in the right direction.