Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who may or may not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.
Brett Anderson, LHP
Contract: Free agent (earned $1.5 million this season)
Reasons to bring him back
Anderson arguably had the best season of his entire career, going 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 31 starts. Perhaps most impressive, the 31-year-old left-hander pitched 176 innings, just 4 1/3 shy of his career-high.
Anderson came to spring training in great shape this year and it paid off. While he dealt with a few minor bumps and bruises, he didn't have to miss any significant time with injuries, something that had plagued him throughout his career.
Even though the A's will have some great young talent in their starting rotation next season, you never can have too much pitching depth. We've seen how many injuries can sideline pitchers in the modern game, which means teams typically try to have 10 reliable starting pitchers to begin a season, not just five.
Reasons to let him go
The A's starting rotation is shaping up to be its best since the Big Three played in Oakland.
With Jesús Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, Mike Fiers, A.J. Puk, and Chris Bassitt all ahead of him on the depth chart, Anderson might make more sense in a relief role. However, at this stage of his career, Anderson might have no interest in joining the bullpen, and he might want more money than the A's are willing to offer.
Based on his performance in 2019, he certainly deserves a raise from his $1.5 million salary. The question is what number Anderson and his agent Brian Peters would accept.
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If Anderson is willing to sign another one-year deal for relatively cheap, he absolutely would be worth bringing back for depth purposes. But that seems unlikely following such a productive season.
Just look at last offseason when Trevor Cahill signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Angels after going 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA. CC Sabathia got $8 million from the Yankees following a 9-7 season with a 3.65 ERA. Even if Anderson isn't offered that much, someone figures to give him more than the A's would (and should).
For that reason, Anderson returning to Oakland feels like a long shot.