HomeTeamsMarinersMariners Add Brian Anderson in Their Third Base Mix 

Mariners Add Brian Anderson in Their Third Base Mix 

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According to Daniel Kramer, the Mariners have added Brian Anderson as a non-roster invite to spring training.

Anderson is coming off a third underwhelming season, after three good ones in Miami. Last year he played for the Brewers, getting into 96 games. In those 96 games, he batted .222/.310/.368 which was good for an 89 OPS+. 

His expected numbers were slightly better at .231/.316/.391, so that doesn’t show a reason for a major improvement for Anderson. He also had a career worst 29.9 strikeout percentage and 37.1 hard hit percentage. While his numbers are declining in those departments, he did improve his walk rate. However, it was slightly. 

Anderson had his best years in Miami between 2018-2020, where he collected a 112OPS+ with very solid defense. He provides strong defense at third and was a very solid right fielder, with a very strong arm. His arm is still there, as he was in the 98th percentile in arm strength in 2023.  

A major problem with Anderson in 2023, compared to other seasons, was his inability to hit the fastball. In 2023 he had a minus 7 run value against the fastball, which was tied for 26th worst in the major leagues. To put that in perspective, his career run value against the 4 seamers before 2023 was plus 14. A major drop for the pitch that as a hitter you see the most. However, you should expect better production against the fastball in 2024. More to his career norm as at 30 years old, he should not be declining this heavy.  

For the Mariners he is most likely more a third base option and according to Out Above Average, he was a lot better there. At third he had a plus 3 OAA, while he was minus 3 in right field.  

After the news Luis Urias battled with shoulder soreness, the Mariners might look at a Josh Rojas/Brian Anderson platoon? However, Anderson struggled mightily vs lefties in 2023 and was inconsistent over his whole career. Against lefties with over 60 PA’s, Anderson had a .423OPS in 2023. Over his career, he has fared better vs righties as well with 757 OPS vs righties and 687 OPS vs lefties. So, that’s not really an option that could work.  

Obviously, Anderson is seen as depth. And with his experience in the major leagues, it is not bad depth to have on a minor league deal. Although his good years are some years in the past, he stillhad a 0.5 bWAR in 2023 and collected 10 bWAR over his 7 years career. If the Mariners need a third baseman, if Urias and Rojas cannot answer the bell.

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