The Chicago White Sox' overall malaise appears to be rubbing off on star shortstop Tim Anderson.
If the Dodgers can't find a way to finagle a summer blockbuster for their preferred infield target Willy Adames, though, that doesn't mean they should write off the struggling Anderson entirely as a solid Plan B.
Anderson has always been a unique trailblazer, someone who wants to leave his mark and eventually create some sort of more effective metaphorical welcome mat for African American stars of the future. Playing alongside Mookie Betts under the spotlight of Hollywood sounds, at first blush, like a fairly effective way of approaching that ambitious goal.
So far, his 2023 walk year isn't going as he designed it, which could be the main complicating factor in an eventual westward deal.
Anderson the 2019 batting champ? He'd be a cinch to replace the underperforming Miguel Rojas. Anderson the 53 OPS+ bat? That requires some convincing.
Dodgers should still pursue White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, despite tough season
Gavin Lux for Anderson. Call it in! Just kidding. Unless...?
Anderson comes with a team option this offseason, which Chicago is probably less inclined than ever to pick up, unless he finishes the year scorching (and gives the front office some indication that he'll heavily consider them long-term).
For now, a Dodgers' Anderson/Lucas Giolito package seems more logical than an extension on the South Side. While there's precious little to like about Anderson's current stat line (really, zero homers?!), it's worth noting that his Batting Average on Balls in Play is lightyears below his typical performance. His xBA is also towards the top percentile, and he continues to rarely whiff.
Anderson isn't one tweak away from a total unlock, but his long-term career history indicates that better things are still to come (unless, of course, he's the only MLBer whose life was ruined entirely by the shift ban).
Until the deadline, something remains rotten in the state of Illinois. While the Dodgers were likely hoping to add a peaking player to their infield mix, it might be better for the overall trade cost if Anderson continues to look lost and in pursuit of a fresh start.