Last Thursday during a Zoom interview, Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson was asked about being in Miami long term. Andy didn’t hesitate in his response: “ I would love to stay here…I have always been a Marlin, and I would love to stay a Marlin.”
Naturally, Marlins fans have started to wonder what a contract for BA might look like. The franchise’s third-round draft pick from 2014 has exceeded expectations during parts of three seasons in the majors and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Of course, we still have an entire MLB campaign ahead of us (albeit a shortened one), but Anderson’s status will definitely be on our minds when watching him and the rest of the Fish play this year.
Anderson posted a triple slash line of .261/.342/.468 and hit 20 HR in 2019, helping him accumulate a 3.1 fWAR in only 125 games (his season ended abruptly in late August due to a broken finger). Even though his BB% and K% both slightly worsened compared to 2018, it was to be expected as he started displaying more power. Since extension talks aren’t expected to start until next offseason, it is important to take into account Anderson’s possible numbers for the 2020 season. ZiPS projects Brian to have a .343 OBP, a .424 SLG, and accumulate a 0.9 fWAR in 52 games—despite a slight regression, that would still make him one of the club’s most productive all-around players.
Since Anderson hasn’t even hit arbitration yet, we can expect for the Marlins to offer a team-friendly contract. After all, they would have him under control through the 2023 season even without making a long-term commitment.
Let’s take a look some players who recently received a contract extension while still being eligible for their first arbitration year:
Reds 3B Eugenio Suárez
- 7 years/ $66 million plus club option signed in 2018
- 116 wRC+, 3.9 fWAR in 2017
Braves SS Andrelton Simmons
- 7 years/ $58 million signed in 2014
- 91 wRC+, 3.5 fWAR (14.8 UZR) in 2013
White Sox SS Tim Anderson
- 6 years/$25 million plus 2 club options signed in 2017
- 98 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR in 2016
Cardinals SS Paul DeJong
- 6 years/ $26 million plus 2 club options signed in 2018
- 123 wRC+, 3.1 fWAR in 2017
It is also important to note that Paul DeJong and Tim Anderson’s contracts were given to them after their first MLB season. Meanwhile, Eugenio Suárez had three years and 61 days of service time when his deal was finalized—that’s more comparable to Anderson, who will be at three years and 31 days entering the 2021 season.
Craig Mish reported on Thursday that Anderson’s agency and the Marlins had pre-COVID-19 conversations about an extension. Miami’s initial framework was around 5 years, $30 million for the third baseman. Worth noting, Anderson is represented by Jeff Berry of CAA, who was also J.T. Realmuto’s agent when the team initiated contract talks with the All-Star catcher in 2018. Realmuto and Berry ultimately requested a trade when the two sides failed to make substantial progress.
The Simmons and Suárez contracts tell us that is too low for a guy who has posted 3+ WAR in two consecutive seasons. Depending on how Anderson does in the sprint of this 2020 season, that framework will probably change.
Assuming the ZiPS projections prove accurate, I expect the Marlins to ultimately offer Anderson a deal similar to what Simmons was offered by the Braves, with an average annual value of approximately $8 million. Going into his age-28 season in 2021, we could expect a 5- to 6-year deal, taking Andy all the way to 33 or 34 years old—just as he exits his prime.
A fair contract extension for all parties would be around 6 years, $50 million. With this, at an average annual value of $8.33 million, the Marlins have their third baseman in place for much of the decade and Anderson can avoid the uncertainty of the post-pandemic free agent market.
Do you think the Marlins and Brian Anderson would agree on a 6-year, $50 million deal?
This poll is closed
Team says no
Anderson says no