White Sox Decline Option on Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson 11.5.23
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Chicago White Sox have declined the option on two time All-Star short stop Tim Anderson. This move will save the White Sox $14 million they would have owed Anderson. He will receive a $1 million buyout from the White Sox, and will hit free agency for the first time in his career. The one time Silver Slugger has struggled to stay on the field since 2021. He has missed major time in each of the last three seasons playing in 325 of a possible 486 games. This lack of consistency led to him having the worst season of his career in 2023.

Anderson missed 39 games in 2023 and when he was on the field his frustration overshadowed his performance. In 524 plate appearances, Anderson slashed .245/.286/.296. He hit one home run, 18 doubles, 25 RBI, and ended the season with a 60 OPS+ and a -2.0 bWAR. Playing under replacement level for the first time in his eight-year career. This culminated in an embarrassing fight with Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez. A swift and humbling experience for a player to be reminded that nobody is above the game.

Tim Anderson’s Options

Although it was a rough ending for Anderson in Chicago, it provides a great opportunity to restart and reintegrate with a new fan base. In his prime, Tim Anderson was the premier lead off hitter in baseball and could have started in any roster in baseball. A few teams seem like they would be a good fit for Anderson. The ideal team is going to be a team who have great player development, a good organizational culture, and teams who look to get the most out of mid-level contracts in free agency.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are a great fit for Tim Anderson. An organization known for taking players that once had potential and getting the most of them. Their player development is one of the most consistent in all of baseball. His recent injuries and struggles could also land the Rays a team friendly contract on a player with All-Star upside. That is something that the Rays often look to take advantage of. This also gives you some stability at the shortstop position which was thrown into turmoil last season. With the question marks around the future of Wander Franco, the deal makes a lot of sense.

The Rays being a small market team often means they struggle to sign big names. Tim Anderson provides the Rays with a unique opportunity to sign a player with brand name appeal at a discount price. With ongoing talks about trying to get a new stadium developed and a need to boost fan support. Anderson gives the Rays a way to address all their needs on and off the field without bankrupting the organization.

San Francisco Giants

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The San Francisco Giants are in a transition period from the great teams of the past decade. Doing all they can to maintain relevance, the Giants went out and hired former San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin to replace Gabe Kapler to lead the team. This is a move that shows they still believe they can contend in an ever more competitive NL West. This being the last year in San Francisco for long time mainstay Brandon Crawford, the Giants should look to sign a veteran presence in the most important infield position.

Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi loves to sign struggling players with high upside. He is after all a product of the Oakland Athletics and Billy Beane. This is the ideal type of signing for Farhan and the Giants. Anderson is a player who you could sign for a discount now and have a few different situations play out after. Either he plays well and you get a tremendous value for the signing, or your team doesn’t play well and you can trade him at the 2024 trade deadline to bolster your farm system.

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins surprised the baseball world in 2023. They won 84 games and made it to the Wild Card round of the playoffs. One place the Marlins should look to improve is the shortstop position. The position was split between Joey Wendle and Jon Berti. Similarly to the Giants and Rays, the Marlins are an organization who could use a player like Tim Anderson. The combination of Luis Arraez and Anderson in their order is a formidable one two punch. It could be exactly what the Marlins need to take the next step and compete with the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves for the NL East title.

 

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