Angels plunder Dodgers All-Star starter Tyler Anderson in surprise reversal

Adam Weinrib
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15: Tyler Anderson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres in game four of the National League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 15, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15: Tyler Anderson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres in game four of the National League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 15, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Entering Tuesday evening, the Dodgers had significant work to do in free agency to bring top-of-the-rotation pitchers to Los Angeles in 2023 to replace the efforts of Walker Buehler (and account for Clayton Kershaw’s aging curve matching the slope of his curveball).

The back end of the rotation? That was in much better shape. Though Tony Gonsolin might not be a trustworthy playoff starter, he still proved he could be a rotation mainstay with an All-Star ceiling in 2022. Dustin May’s return from Tommy John was short, but effective, and he’d be stronger next season.

Tyler Anderson? He was likely to accept the qualifying offer and make nearly $20 million in 2023 — either that, or he seemed to be a favorite to come to terms on a multi-year agreement ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

Well. About that.

Anderson shocked Dodgers fans by agreeing to a free agent contract with the Angels about two hours before the 3:00 PM PST roster deadline. LAA secured the left-hander’s services at his absolute peak for three years and $40 million, per Joel Sherman.

Dodgers lose Tyler Anderson to Angels; contract details revealed

The Dodgers still have plenty of rotation mouths to feed, but they’ve now been given another hole to fill.

Anderson, pulled far too early in the likely final appearance of his Dodgers career, wrapped his most impressive big-league season with a 15-5 record, 2.57 ERA, 1.002 WHIP and 4.3 BWAR. Strikeouts are not his forte, but more than ever, efficiently recording outs of any sort was his bread and butter this past season.

Apparently, slow and steady wins the race to sign, but doesn’t cost quite as much as expected. All told, it would’ve only cost the Dodgers slightly more to secure Anderson’s services than it cost the Astros to ink fellow one-year wonder Rafael Montero to man the seventh inning.

Could the Dodgers be sure that Anderson would replicate his career year in 2023 and beyond? Of course not.

But, for a team that prints money, they wouldn’t have had to print all that much to ensure Anderson’s innings were covered for the next three seasons.

Now, it’s back to the drawing board — where there’s currently a drawing of Andrew Heaney that everyone’s trying to ignore.

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