What the Brewers should do with Brian Anderson
By Beau Adams
The Milwaukee Brewers (24-21) are enjoying some much-needed early-season success. They have many blossoming young talented prospects in Milwaukee and well-seasoned veterans to guide them all along.
One of those veterans is outfielder Brian Anderson. Acquired on a one-year contract via free agency from the Marlins, Anderson will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
It's safe to say Brian Anderson likes playing at American Family Field and the Brewers love having him in the lineup. Anderson will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and the Brewers would be wise to think about extending his contract right now. Let's look at why.
Anderson is having a bit of a career resurgence in Milwaukee, raising his average by 20 points over last year. He is a career .250 hitter but has not played an entire season since 2019. This is how he started his Brewers career, with a blast.
Healthy and celebrating his 30th birthday Wednesday, it may be a good time to look at extending Brian Anderson to a real contract. He is more than just a platoon player and could be instrumental in the development of Brice Turang.
Taking a deeper look into Anderson's season, he is performing at an above-average level, with seven HR, 24 RBI, and a .327 OBP. That puts him on par with all-star infielders Jorge Mateo, Austin Riley, and Gleyber Torres, even Juan Soto. In addition, his numbers are comparable to fellow Brewer Christian Yelich minus the bloated run total.
Comparing players from different teams can be tricky; luckily, there is a statistical metric that does this for us, wRC+. wRC+ is a statistic that measures the runs created by a player, taking into account different league factors. Comparing Anderson's 2023 wRC+ of 100 to Dansby Swanson (99), Nola Arenado (105), or even Alex Bregman(101), you can start to see he is quite impressive. It's only a matter of time before other teams' analytic departments start scratching below the surface on Anderson.
Austin Riley, who plays the same position, recently signed a 10-year $212 million contract. The Brewers could lock up Anderson at a fraction of that.
Right now, Anderson sits in the top five of NL third basemen. The Brewers signed him for an inexpensive $3.5MM after he was non-tendered last offseason. If Anderson continues to improve his strikeout-to-walk ratio and maintains his homerun pace, he will be very much in contention to make the NL All-star team. Re-signing him at a bargain like he's at this year after that will be next to impossible.