Garrett Anderson: World Series Champion, Potential Hall of Famer, Unemployed

AndersonThe Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Los Angeles Angels have failed to pick up veteran outfielder Garrett Anderson’s $14 million option for next season. At 36, Anderson has spent his entire career with the Angeles, and leads the franchise in numerous categories including games (2,013), runs (1,024), hits (2,368) and RBIs (1,292).

The Angels will pick up club options for right-hander John Lackey ($9 million) and outfielder Vladimir Guerrero ($15 million). But Anderson, a Los Angeles native who has never played for another organization, will be bought out of his contract for $3 million — though the team has not ruled out re-signing him as a free agent.

“We’re going to continue talking with him,” General Manager Tony Reagins said of Anderson, who hit .293 with 15 home runs and 84 runs batted in last season, when he made $12 million. “He still wants to play. He still thinks he can play a significant role, as far as getting 500 or 600 at-bats. We just need to determine whether we have that place for him.”

That determination might not be made until well into the winter, depending on the progress of trade talks and free agency. So while friends say Anderson would prefer to stay in Anaheim, he might be faced with a deadline to accept a deal from another team before the Angels are ready to offer him a job.

Anderson has always been one of my favorite ball players. In his 14 seasons, the three-time All Star has put up consistent numbers, been a solid fielder, and helped the Angeles win a ring in 2002. On top of that, he was never involved in any of the steroid discussion and has never been anything but an agreeable team player with a desire to win. His loyalty to his team is unmatched in professional baseball. These days, players rarely remain on one team for their entire career. Other than Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Even when Garrett was really hot from 2000-03, he refused to jump ship after being offered better contracts from other organizations.

Unfortunately, I doubt the Angeles will sign him as a free agent. Chone Figgins may move into the outfield to make room for Brandon Wood at third base. That leaves outfielders Juan Rivera, Gary Matthews Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, and Garrett Anderson contending for a position. Since the Angeles are reportedly in the hunt for Matt Holiday, Anderson’s chances don’t look good, even with Guerrero in the DH spot.

Fact is, Anderson is not a $14 million a year player, at least not anymore. At his age, he’s no Manny Ramirez, but he can still hit for 15 home runs and 80 RBIs a year. I think he’ll stay in the American League, signing for about $9-10million with a team looking for a solid bat.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts