The Milwaukee Brewers have made another modest foray into the free agent waters, signing former Marlins infielder/outfielder Brian Anderson to a contract.
Terms of the deal were not immediately known but it can be safely assumed that this is a one year contract for Anderson.
The Brewers signed utilityman Brian Anderson to a free agent contract, likely concluding their infield needs.
Brian Anderson had some good years with the Marlins. From 2017-2021, Anderson had a career .263/.347/.423 slash line with a 109 OPS+. He had a stretch from 2018-2020 where he hit 11+ homers each season, including a 20 homer campaign in 2019 and put up three straight years with an OPS+ of 110 or higher.
Anderson has suffered through some injuries the past two years though. He was limited to just 67 games in 2021 and played in just 98 games in 2022.
The Brewers are hoping some good health will bring about a rebound campaign in 2023 and this move makes a lot of sense. For the Marlins, Anderson primarily played third base and played plenty of right field as well, and both of those positions will have some available playing time for the Brewers in 2023 for Anderson to claim.
Anderson has a strong throwing arm, as evidenced by the positions he plays. He has played a little second base, first base, left field, and even some shortstop in 2021, but don't expect him to get a lot of reps at that position in Milwaukee. He finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2018.
Anderson is a right-handed hitter, which will help balance out the lineup for Milwaukee. They needed another right handed hitting outfielder to go with Tyrone Taylor and he can help keep the infield balanced with two righties and two lefty hitters, assuming Brice Turang takes the job at second base.
This is a solid, yet not splashy free agent signing by the Brewers. When healthy, Anderson is a productive hitter. He brings some pop, and gets on base at a solid clip. He usually draws walks just under 10% of the time and can be a 2-3 WAR player.
He's versatile defensively, which was likely an attractive factor to the Brewers in their pursuit of him. The fact that he can help plug both third base and right field allows the Brewers to kill two birds with one stone. Those are both positions where they could stand to upgrade their options. Anderson can help address the right field situation without blocking any of the young prospects like Sal Frelick or Joey Wiemer because if they need time, he can play at third base and stay in the lineup. Then if the Brewers want to give more at-bats to their infielders like Luis Urias, Mike Brosseau, Owen Miller, and Abraham Toro, they can put Anderson in the outfield and keep him in the lineup.
Assuming health, Anderson can provide a boost to this lineup. This signing won't make any waves, but the Brewers are a better team today than they were yesterday with this move. The Brewers will have to clear a 40 man roster spot for Anderson.