Georgia

Braves sign Nick Anderson to one year deal

We’ve signed an Atlanta Braves free agent! Before you get too excited, it has nothing to do with the shortstop position. RHP Nick Anderson didn’t play in the major leagues at all in 2022 as he recovered from injuries and then couldn’t fight his way back into the majors with the Rays. The rescuer underwent UCL brace surgery in October 2021 and on his return was dealing with plantar fasciitis that was disabling him.

Anderson is not far from an excellent 2020 campaign with the Rays. When he cleared the Rays’ waivers, the Braves decided to nab him.

Is Nick Anderson a good fit for the Atlanta Braves?

There is basically no risk for the Braves here. Your bullpen is already very strong despite a few losses this offseason, so you don’t have to rely on Anderson. If he’s good enough to play in the majors, they get an assistant with at least some track record of being really good at a cheap major league deal. If for some reason he’s not, the team can put him in the minors and his salary is even less of an issue.

In 19 minor league appearances in 2022, Anderson had a 5.19 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 17.1 innings of work. In 2020, before he was injured, he had a .55 ERA with 26 strikeouts and just three walks in 19 major league appearances for the Rays.

Again, these are the kinds of moves the Atlanta Braves need to make. Sure, they have urgent needs in some key spots, but Alex Anthopoulos is really very good at finding interesting players who can strengthen the squad even on the fringes. It wasn’t that long ago that the team brought in Tyler Matzek, and nobody thought much about it back then. However, Matzek would continue to be a critical part of the Braves’ World Series run.

If the signing doesn’t work and Anderson can’t recapture the magic of 2020, then no harm, no foul.

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