Red Sox Quickly Sign 10-Year Veteran to Join Starting Rotation

Red Sox signee Chase Anderson

Getty Red Sox signee Chase Anderson

On Saturday afternoon, the Pirates cut veteran pitcher Chase Anderson, who had signed with the team on a minor-league deal in the offseason. Anderson had the right to trigger an opt-out in that deal if he was not named to the big-league roster on March 23. When he exercised that option, the Pirates let him walk. But just hours later, the Red Sox were there to scoop him up.

According to Chris Cotillo of, the Red Sox added Anderson on a one-year deal with the big-league club.

Anderson is not the big-name pitcher that Red Sox fans have surely been looking for, even before the season-ending injury to Lucas Giolito, who had surgery this month to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Giolito was expected to be the No. 1 starter in the rotation.

The Red Sox have long been linked to former Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery, who has yet to sign with a team after holding out for a major contract in free agency—rumored to be seeking a deal similar to the $172 million contract signed by Aaron Nola in Philadelphia. But the signing of Anderson could mean that door is closed.

Chase Anderson Has Veteran Starting Chops

That’s not to say, of course, that Anderson figures to swoop in and rescue a Red Sox rotation that is short on proven starters. Anderson is 36 and in 10 MLB seasons with seven different franchises, he has managed a 59-56 record with an ERA of 4.35. Most recently, he pitched for the Rockies, where he went 1-6 with a 5.35 ERA last season.

But those numbers were not likely as bad as they seemed. Anderson does struggle with allowing home runs, but he was fighting through shoulder inflammation last season, an injury that kept him out from late July to early September.

The record was not good, but in games that Anderson started, the Rockies went 8-9, and he seemed to have found a groove in his final three starts. He allowed no hits in seven innings on September 15 against the Giants, and allowed just 10 hits and three earned runs in those final three starts, over 18.1 innings. He walked nine and struck out 14.

“I felt like I was back to myself,” Anderson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last month. “That was a really good springboard into the offseason, to get the confidence back and know I can still do it.”

Red Sox Rotation Still in Flux

Anderson had a good Spring Training, too, despite the Pirates’ decision to let him go. He was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and nine strikeouts in 11.0 innings in Florida, and indication that perhaps what we saw from Anderson late last year was no fluke.

It’s hard to say where the Red Sox would slot Anderson in as a starter, but it’s possible he could take the No. 3 role behind Brayan Bello and Nick Pivetta. Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock are also slated to be starters this year, though Whitlock could move back to the bullpen. All three had strong springs as starters.

Anderson will surely play a mentoring role with the young Red Sox starters, but as he told the Post-Gazette, he does not feel he is finished with baseball just yet.

“The body feels pretty good for 36,” Anderson said. “Looking forward to trying to get a few more years out of it. Thankfully, the good Lord has given me pretty good overall health throughout my professional career.”

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