Cleveland Indians Trade Target#1: Tyler Anderson, Pittsburgh Pirates
The only two southpaws to register starts for the Tribe this year are Logan Allen and Sam Hentges, and they’ve been underwhelming to say the least. Tyler Anderson is one such lefty that Cleveland could trade for to bolster the back of the rotation down the stretch, a pitcher very popular among MLB pundits in way-too-early trade talk back in early May.
Anderson has cooled off from his 3.05 ERA on May 9th, but he’s been more than admirable for the Pittsburgh Pirates on a one-year $2.5M deal. Anderson has registered 17 starts this season, never once going fewer than five innings pitched, spanning 97.1 innings with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He’s only allowed more than three earned runs three times in those 17 starts, a reliable level of consistency notably absent in Cleveland’s rag-tag rotation.
Anderson’s velocity is certainly nothing impressive, yet he has an above average swing-and-miss rate among other pitchers in 2021. Opposing bats are whiffing on three of his five pitches at a clip of 22.5% or better, most noteworthy a 25% rate on his 4-Seam and a 28.6% rate on his Changeup.
Everything Anderson has done so far in his age 31 season is certainly sustainable as he’s about on par with his averages from his time with the Rockies and his lone year with San Francisco. The opportunity to join a contender for the remainder of 2021 might even spark a return to his early season form, but the Indians would take a starter they know will net them five innings every start.