Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson offers hilarious reason why A's can't cheat like Astros

Brett Anderson offers hilarious reason why A's can't cheat like Astros

The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal has enveloped baseball this offseason.

As spring training prepares to get underway, marquee players from every team have been teeing off on the 2017 World Series champions, who used technology to steal signs and alert hitters to what pitches were coming by banging a trash can. 

With the Astros taking fire as the black sheep of baseball, it's fair to wonder what other MLB teams either are toeing the line or crossing it when it comes to sign stealing. But if you're wondering if the A's might have a similar system to the one the Astros used, former Athletic Brett Anderson is here to pop your bubble.

“I know the A’s weren’t cheating,” Anderson told The Athletic. “Because, one, I don’t know if they could afford it. And to relay from f---ing 300 yards away in the video room? What were we going to do, get some vendor to throw some popcorn up in the air, or something? It’s too f---ing far to relay something.

“The lights go out, it’s a curveball,” Anderson said. “If there’s a sewage backup, it’s a fastball.”

Honestly ... fair point.

Later, Anderson clarified that it was all in good fun and the A's are near to his heart.

[RELATED: A's Piscotty carried mother's torch by trying to defeat ALS]

The Astros will be a topic of conversation all season and no one really knows how each team and opposing fan base will react when Houston comes to their park.

The A's will host the Astros at the Coliseum in the second series of the season, a three-game set from March 30-April 1. 

Why A's might not bring back pitcher Brett Anderson for 2020 MLB season

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Why A's might not bring back pitcher Brett Anderson for 2020 MLB season

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.

[RELATED: Should A's bring back Profar in 2020?]

Final verdict

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.

Brett Anderson wants to return to A's in 2020 if spot is available

Brett Anderson wants to return to A's in 2020 if spot is available

Brett Anderson was sitting in front of his locker next to Mark Canha, who was surrounded by the media scrum after Wednesday night's devastating AL Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The A's starter took to Twitter following the game to give thanks to the team he called the "most fun" he's had with a group throughout the entirety of his career. And after 11 years in the league, that's a hell of a compliment.

The early conclusion to the season brought about questions as to whether or not the lefty veteran would re-sign with the A's. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Anderson wants to return to the Green and Gold in 2020, but with the future of the pitching staff looking bright, he's unsure how that would come to fruition:

The 31-year-old finished the 2019 season with a 3.89 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 176 innings pitched. 

[RELATED: Why A's are excited to add Luzardo, Puk to rotation]

With Jesús Luzardo, Sean Manaea and A.J. Puk making their way into the rotation, the A's future on the mound is brimming with talent. But for now, Anderson is happy with what he contributed to Oakland in 2019, and we're pretty confident the team is as well.