Pirates Trade Tanner Anderson to the Athletics

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded right-handed pitcher Tanner Anderson to the Oakland Athletics today, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster, which was then used for their Rule 5 additions (we’ll discuss those moves in a different post).

Anderson was used as depth this past year, and usually only in emergency situations. He’s got the upside of a middle reliever in the majors, although he didn’t fare well in his first taste of the big leagues. Anderson had a 6.35 ERA and a 5.07 xFIP in 11.1 innings, with a low strikeout rate and a high walk rate.

That wasn’t the case in the minors, as Anderson had good control of his sinker, and got a decent amount of strikeouts with his slider. He will need to see better control in the future in order to stick in the majors. I don’t know the situation with Oakland, but I do know that the Pirates were getting crowded with middle relief types, which means that Anderson might have better luck elsewhere.

This might just be a deal for cash, although the fact that it came against a deadline could make the PTBNL part of it more likely, since the Pirates wouldn’t have had much time to decide. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t expect more than a fringe lower level prospect in return.

Anderson had, in my opinion, the best delivery in the system, with a Bronson Arroyo style leg kick from the windup. He also had a shortened delivery where he almost moved to the third base side of the rubber while throwing from the stretch. Both deliveries gave him deception, and made him a fun pitcher to watch throughout his minor league career. That delivery alone might be worth a player to be named later.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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