Tyler Anderson was signed by the Los Angeles Angels to be a stabilizer for a rotation that needed one. Anderson was supposed to be the reliable innings eater the Angels turned to every sixth day who would help save the bullpen and keep them in games. It turns out, Anderson was nothing close to the pitcher Angels fans expected he'd be.
The southpaw turned out to be not only the weaklink in a bad rotation, but he was one of the worst starting pitchers in all of baseball. He had a 5.43 ERA in 27 appearances (25 starts). The one positive from Anderson's year is that he stayed mostly healthy.
His awful year gives the Angels no reason to believe he'll be much better in 2024. Sure, he can't be much worse, but Anderson should not be handed a rotation spot even with how bad this rotation is.
Assuming the Angels bring in another starter, that pitcher should be in the rotation along with Patrick Sandoval, Griffin Canning, Reid Detmers, and Chase Silseth. The Angels should be looking to deal the left-hander this offseason. It won't be easy considering the fact that he is owed $13 million in each of the next two seasons, but the Braves trade of Marco Gonzales shows that it is, in fact, possible.
LA Angels can use Braves trade as a blueprint when exploring a Tyler Anderson deal
The Braves acquired Marco Gonzales in the deal that sent Jarred Kelenic to Atlanta right before the Winter Meetings. The deal was revolved around Kelenic who is now Atlanta's starting left fielder. The Braves had no intention of keeping Gonzales or Evan White who were salary throw-ins, and wound up shipping both. White is now an Angel, acquired in the Max Stassi and David Fletcher trade.
Atlanta quickly found a suitor in the Pirates who were willing to take Gonzales in a cap dump. Atlanta paid part of the $12 million he's owed in 2024 and sent him to the Pirates while receiving nothing of note in return. This is what the Angels should be looking to do with their bad contract, Anderson.
Gonzales and Anderson have similar profiles. At their best, they're innings eaters capable of keeping their teams in games each time they take the mound. They don't have overpowering stuff, but have good command and know how to pitch. Like Anderson, Gonzales is coming off a miserable 2023 season in which he was limited to just 10 starts due to injury and had a 5.22 ERA. The Braves were able to shed part of his salary.
With so many teams needing starting pitching, an Anderson deal can be similar. Sure, his contract has an extra guaranteed year, but his value isn't that different. Even if the Angels paid off one of the two years of his contract it'd still be worthwhile for the team. They'd be saving money to add a better arm, and can get away from a guy who simply doesn't appear to be good enough. Instead of hoping Anderson will turn it around, accept the fact that he likely won't and get out as soon as possible.
It's up to Perry Minasian to find a team with an opening in a rotation and sell them on Anderson, much like the Braves did with Gonzales. Even if he must throw in a low-level prospect in addition to cash to cover part of Anderson's deal that'd work. Just find a way to get Anderson out and replace him with a starting pitcher worthy of being in the rotation.