The Los Angeles Angels addressed a need in their rotation by signing Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal. Anderson will slot in nicely behind Shohei Ohtani and makes a young, fun rotation even better.
Anderson's deal brought some questions because he's only had one elite season. Will he be able to replicate what he did? My argument has always been that at the price he was signed for, the Angels don't expect him to repeat his 2022. He just has to be a decent arm to give them a chance to win games and eat innings.
This point was proven when Matthew Boyd signed a one-year $10 million dollar deal plus another $1 million in incentives with the Tigers.
The Matt Boyd deal validates the Anderson contract before he's even pitched a game for the Angels.
The pitching market has different layers this season. There're the three superstars in Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, and Carlos Rodon. Then there's the next tier which includes guys like Chris Bassitt, Kodai Senga, Nathan Eovaldi, Jameson Taillon, and Tyler Anderson. There're a couple more tiers below that and then there's the Matt Boyd tier.
For all of the Angels fans saying the Anderson signing was bad because he's only had one good year, how's the Matt Boyd signing with no good years? Boyd's best season came in 2019 with the Tigers when he went 9-12 with a 4.56 ERA in 32 starts. He struck out 11.6 batters per nine that season which gave lots of reason for optimism, but he allowed 1.9 home runs per nine and wasn't effective despite showing great stuff.
Boyd was having a decent 2021 campaign after a horrendous 2020 season as he posted a 3.89 ERA in his first 15 starts. His strikeouts (7.7 K/9) were way down but he was pitching better. He then underwent flexor tendon surgery which knocked him out for most of the 2022 season.
Boyd appeared in ten games as a reliever for the Mariners and pitched well in his 13.1 innings of work.
One-year deals don't include a lot of risk and if the Tigers think they have something in Boyd that's great for them and I hope they're right. The Angels are paying Tyler Anderson, a guy coming off an all-star appearance with a 2.57 ERA for the Dodgers, just $13 million dollars in 2023. Not only for that season are they getting him for $13 million, but they also have him on that money through the 2025 season.
Anderson likely won't be the pitcher he was for the Dodgers but he doesn't have to be. This contract Matt Boyd got after having a career 4.90 ERA in eight seasons proves how insane the market is for starting pitching. Teams will go up to $10 million dollars guaranteed for pitchers who've proven absolutely nothing at the big league level and to make matters worse, Boyd hasn't even started a game since September 4th, 2021. (He allowed five runs in four innings that day).
Even Jameson Taillon, a guy with a decent track record but never had as good of a year as Anderson just had, is wanting more than the contract Jon Gray got. This also makes the Anderson deal look better.
I don't know how Perry Minasian convinced Anderson to sign the deal he did, but I'm thankful for it. All he has to do is stay healthy for that deal to be a steal for the Halos.