Entering what would have been his final year of arbitration eligibility, Brian Anderson has been non-tendered by the Marlins (first reported by Craig Mish of SportsGrid). The 29-year-old had spent his entire professional career with the Fish.
Anderson was the Marlins’ third-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He made his major league debut as a 2017 September call-up and never went back down. He placed fourth in 2018 NL Rookie of the Year voting behind only Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto and Walker Buehler. In both 2019 and 2020, he led all Marlins position players in FanGraphs wins above replacement (2.7 fWAR and 1.7 fWAR, respectively). He was durable throughout that period with the exception of an unlucky fractured finger caused by a hit by pitch.
Unfortunately, a recurring left shoulder injury has taken its toll. BA missed nearly half of the Marlins’ scheduled games in 2021 and 2022, and when he was available to play, his OPS was about 100 points below his career norm. A former Gold Glove finalist at third base in 2020, Anderson has been less reliable since then. Despite terrific arm strength, he hasn’t gotten fully acclimated to the outfield, either. Coming off his most recent stint on the IL, Anderson slashed .184/.270/.310 over his final 44 games in Miami.
Anderson played parts of six MLB seasons with the Marlins. Only 13 players in franchise history have topped that.
Anderson earned a salary of $4.48 million in 2022. He was projected for $5.2 million in 2023, per Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors. In the hours leading up to the non-tender deadline, 65.4% of the Fish Stripes Twitter audience correctly predicted his departure.
How will the Marlins replace Anderson’s production? As currently constituted, they would likely address third base by platooning Joey Wendle with one of Jordan Groshans or Charles Leblanc. With improved conditioning, perhaps Avisaíl García can be the everyday-caliber right fielder they signed him to be. But the offseason has barely begun.
Enjoy some of Anderson’s finest highlights as a Marlin. Wherever he goes next, I wish him good health.