By now you have all heard the predictable news. Left hander Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disc in his back and will miss 3-5 months after requiring arthroscopic back surgery. I don’t want to beat a dead horse here. I don’t enjoy writing this type of article. I’m not writing this to say I told you so, or to gloat. Trust me when I say that I want the Dodgers to win more than I want to be right. I want the Dodgers to build a durable sensible pitching staff. However I want to get a few things off my chest in order to try and understand the logic behind the Dodger’s front office.
As I predicted both Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy are both injured and possibly out for if not the entire year or most of the year. If you are expecting or counting on either of these two guys to come back this season and contribute at all then I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. I just don’t understand what the front office saw in either of them. If somebody can explain it to me without the obligatory moneyball excuses, please let me know.
The goal of this article is not to disparage Anderson and McCarthy. They are both extremely nice guys and I wish them well. I hope they are back on the mound as soon as possible and are able to contribute something to the Dodgers this season. They’re not very good, but this is not their fault. They are what they are and it’s the fault of the front office for ignoring history and logic.
I keep hearing about how Anderson “gambled” on himself by accepting the Dodger’s 15.8 million dollar qualifying offer. That is incorrect. He didn’t gamble, the Dodgers gambled on him. He was just trying to do what was best for himself. He obviously knows his injury problems and non-athletic body would probably not allow him to get through another season unscathed. The Dodgers should have known better.
So if you tally up the 48 million to Brandon McCarthy, and the 25.8 million given to Anderson, that totals 73.8 million dollars between the two pitchers. So what did 73.8 million dollars get the Dodgers? It got the Dodgers 35 starts and a 3.94 ERA between the two starters. Not good at all. It was a miracle that Anderson threw 180 innings last season. Why push your luck with him? You don’t have to be the oracle from the matrix to figure out that these guys are constantly hurt. It doesn’t matter whether it’s arm, shoulder, neck, back, wrist, knee, foot. These guys are a walking mash unit not to be counted on.
So what should the Dodgers have done? It’s simple really. Don’t offer him a contract. Let him walk. He was a free agent, and there was no reason to give him a contract. This was especially apparent after he laid an egg in game 3 of the NLDS last year. Not to mention the Dodgers have three outstanding pitching prospects waiting to be called up.
It’s just arrogance to me. Moneyball arrogance. They didn’t have to sign him. They didn’t have to pass up better healthier options to go with another injury riddled pitcher. This isn’t to badmouth the front office. Everyone makes mistakes, and the front office made a huge mistake counting on these guys. It’s ok, just stop doing it. Learn from your mistakes.
This is not the way to build a pitching staff. You build a pitching staff with health, innings, talent, known commodities and common sense. So please Mr. Friedman, I beg of you. Stop it. Stop it now! No more signing reclamation projects. No more signing guys off the trash heap expecting different results. No more signing pitchers who are constantly injured. I hope this is a valuable lesson learned for the brain trust.