It’s a lost season for the Rockies and now it’s pretty clearly a lost season for starter Brett Anderson.
Anderson will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday to repair a disk in his lower back. It’s another frustrated season for Anderson, who always seems to pitch well — this year he had a 2.91 ERA over eight starts and as a career ERA+ of 112 — but just can’t stay on the field. He’s only pitched in as many as 20 games in a season one time: his rookie year in 2009.
The recovery time for his surgery is five months, so he should be ready to go by spring training. But the question is what team he’ll be playing for come spring training. The Rockies hold a $12 million team option on him and for a pitcher of his quality that’s not terrible. The question is whether they’re going to gamble that he’ll actually be able to pitch enough to make it worthwhile.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.