Rays, Chase Anderson Agree To Minor League Deal

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The Rays have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Chase Anderson, per the team’s transactions log at MLB.com. The Hub Sports Management client opted out of a minor league pact with the Tigers earlier this month and will now head to Triple-A Durham to give the Rays some additional depth.

Anderson, 34, is an eight-year big league veteran who’s pitched to a 4.20 ERA with a 20.1% strikeout rate, a 7.9% walk rate and a 37.6% ground-ball rate in 938 2/3 innings dating back to his 2014 MLB debut with the Diamondbacks. The past two seasons have been a struggle, as he’s been tagged for a combined 6.94 ERA in 81 2/3 frames between the Blue Jays and the Phillies.

Prior to that tough stretch, however, Anderson was a quietly solid fourth starter for the D-backs and Brewers for several seasons. From 2014-19 he started at least 25 games per full big league season, pitching to a combined 3.94 ERA. He topped out at a career-high 158 innings and averaged about 5 1/3 innings per start along the way, so he was never necessarily a workhorse innings eater, but Anderson was an effective and underrated member of both the Arizona and Milwaukee pitching staffs.

Anderson began the season with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo and pitched well more often than not. His overall 4.63 ERA in 70 frames isn’t exactly eye-catching, though it’s inflated by one particularly poor outing in which he was blasted for five runs while only recording five outs. Anderson allowed just seven runs over his final 25 Triple-A innings, posting a 24-to-5 K/BB ratio along the way, so it’s a bit surprising that an injury-decimated Tigers club didn’t at least give him a brief big league look.

Anderson will now move from one organization that’s thin on rotation depth to another, however, as the Rays have had their own rash of injuries among the starting staff. Tampa Bay currently has Corey Kluber, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs and Cy Young frontrunner Shane McClanahan in the rotation, but each of Shane Baz, Tyler Glasnow, Josh Fleming, Yonny Chirinos and Brendan McKay is on the injured list. As such, starting pitching could well be an area of focus for Tampa Bay in the coming week, but Anderson will give them some veteran depth down the stretch.

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