Tag: Lars Anderson

Lars Anderson

Blue Jays claim Lars Anderson off waivers from White Sox


Lars Anderson is now with his fourth organization in the past six months, as the Blue Jays claimed the former top prospect off waivers from the White Sox.

Previously he was traded from the Red Sox to the Indians in July, got sent to the Diamondbacks in the three-team Shin-Soo Choo/Trevor Bauer deal, and then got claimed off waivers by the White Sox three weeks ago.

Anderson cracked Baseball America‘s annual top-100 prospects list three times, including No. 17 overall in 2009, but he’s hit just .260 with a .415 slugging percentage in 533 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He has good on-base skills, but at age 25 he needs to show significantly more power to have any sort of big-league future at first base.

White Sox claim Lars Anderson off waivers from the Diamondbacks

Lars Anderson

The Diamondbacks acquired first baseman Lars Anderson from the Indians in December as part of the three-team Trevor Bauer trade, but his stint with the club didn’t last long. After being designated for assignment last week following the Justin Upton deal, Anderson has been claimed off waivers by the White Sox.

Once a top prospect with the Red Sox, Anderson has seen his stock fade in recent years. The 25-year-old batted .250/.353/.396 with nine home runs, 59 RBI and a .750 OPS in 111 games at the Triple-A level last season and is 8-for-48 (.167) over 30 games in the majors. He was traded to the Indians last July in the deal that sent knuckleballer Steven Wright to Boston.

While the Diamondbacks now only have Didi Gregorius and Tony Sipp to show for trading Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers, Anderson could claim a spot on Chicago’s Opening Day roster as a backup first baseman/outfielder and left-handed bat off the bench.

How the Diamondbacks went from Trevor Bauer to Didi Gregorius

Trevor Bauer

The Diamondbacks and GM Kevin Towers knew all about Trevor Bauer’s odd delivery and unusual throwing program when they made him the third overall pick in the 2011 draft. If they had questions about him then, they overlooked them in order to get one of the top talents on the board.

Now, a year and a half later, he’s gone, essentially traded for a middle infielder who has hit .271/.323/.376 in five minor league seasons. Didi Gregorius is the Diamondbacks’ new hope at shortstop, replacing the old hope of Bauer at the top of the rotation.

Gregorius, for what it’s worth, signed with the Reds for $50,000 out of Curacao in 2007. Bauer got a $3.45 million bonus and a four-year, $4.45 million contract upon joining the Diamondbacks last year.

Not only is that money gone, but the Diamondbacks passed on such talents as the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy, the Nationals’ Anthony Rendon and the Indians’ Francisco Lindor to draft Bauer. It’s safe to say that Gregorius wouldn’t have been of much interest if they had taken Lindor, now one of the game’s best shortstop prospects.

That the Diamondbacks’ relationship with Bauer had soured was obvious. The two parties disagreed about his throwing program. Whispers about attitude problems had become pervasive. Some of Bauer’s tweets also rubbed people the wrong way.

It’s all stuff that likely would have been overlooked had Bauer seemed well on his way to becoming an ace. However, fluctuating velocity and spotty fastball command had damaged his stock to some disagree.

Regardless, I still think trading Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw in exchange for Gregorius, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson was a lousy idea for the Diamondbacks. But nor do I imagine Towers picked it over a bunch of superior offers; the fact is that everyone knew that Bauer was out there and no team seemed all that eager to take the plunge.

The big concern I have is the way the Diamondbacks are bleeding talent. I’ve liked their two biggest free agent additions to date (Brandon McCarthy and Eric Chavez), but trading Chris Young for a now obsolete Cliff Pennington and an overpriced reliever in Heath Bell was a net loss, as is this latest deal. Towers also traded a semi-intriguing corner infielder in Ryan Wheeler for  a generic left-handed reliever in Matt Reynolds. In an effort to fill gaps now, Towers has increased the likelihood that there will be bigger holes in the future.