MLB Insider: An under-the-radar pitcher to watch closely before trade deadline

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Angels
Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Angels / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Shane Bieber and Jesus Luzardo, two of the most prominent names that were expected to be on the MLB trade market in July, are both on the Injured List. Bieber is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery while Luzardo is expected to throw a rehab start on Sunday.

While Luzardo should be back well before the July 30 trade deadline, the question marks surrounding some of the top options potentially complicate the market. But an under-the-radar option that has quietly emerged is Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Anderson.

Tyler Anderson is one to watch ahead of the MLB trade deadline

Anderson, 34, has had a whirlwind last 12 months with the Angels. Just last year, he posted a 5.43 ERA, and was placed on waivers and went unclaimed. This year, he has a 2.23 ERA in six starts, though he has a 4.76 FIP that suggests that a fall from grace could be on the horizon. Still, with how pitching-needy contending teams are late in the season, Anderson figures to be a prime candidate to be moved.

What’s also intriguing about Anderson is that he has a .194 batting average on balls in play and a 90.9 percent strand rate, as MLB Trade Rumors noted. He is only two years removed from being an All-Star with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022 where he posted a 2.57 ERA in 30 games (28 starts). He’s also signed to a three-year, $39 million contract – affordable for a starting pitcher – and is controllable through 2025.

How teams ultimately view the additional year of control is to be determined. On one hand, they could view the 2023 season as an anomaly. On the other hand, they could view that – as well as some of his underlying numbers in 2024 – as indicative of future performance and be hesitant to facilitate a trade.

How he fares over the next couple months bears watching, but Anderson’s strong start has put him squarely in the trade deadline conversation.

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