Braves sign Nick Anderson to one year deal
We have an Atlanta Braves free agent signing! Before you get too excited, it has nothing to do with the shortstop position. RHP Nick Anderson did not pitch at all in 2022 in the major leagues as he recovered from injuries and then could not force his way back into the majors with the Rays. The reliever underwent a UCL brace procedure in October 2021 and upon his return, he dealt with plantar fasciitis that hampered him.
Anderson isn’t that far removed from an excellent 2020 campaign with the Rays, so when he cleared waivers from the Rays, the Braves decided to snatch him up.
Is Nick Anderson a good fit for the Atlanta Braves?
There is basically no risk for the Braves here. Their bullpen is already very stout even with some of their losses this offseason, so there isn’t a need to rely on Anderson. If he is good enough to pitch in the majors, they get a reliever with at least some track record of being really good on a cheap major league deal. If he isn’t for whatever reason, the team can put him in the minors and his salary is even less of an issue.
In 19 appearances in the minor leagues in 2022, Anderson posted a 5.19 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 17.1 innings of work. In 2020 before he got hurt, he posted a 0.55 ERA with 26 strikeouts and just three walks in 19 appearances in the big leagues for the Rays.
Again, these are the sorts of moves that the Atlanta Braves need to be making. Sure, they have real pressing needs at a couple of key spots, but Alex Anthopoulos is really, really good at finding interesting players that can bolster the roster on the fringes as well. It wasn’t that long ago that the team brought in Tyler Matzek and at the time, no one thought much of it. However, Matzek would go on to be a critical piece of the Braves’ World Series run.
If the signing doesn’t work out and Anderson can’t recapture the 2020 magic, then no harm, no foul.