The Reds signed Josh Anderson to a minor league deal Tuesday with an invitation to spring training. As Mark Sheldon wrote Monday, this is the best of what we can expect for this Reds offseason.

General manager Walt Jocketty will be trolling the market to seek players open to Minor League deals with non-roster invites to camps. “We’ll definitely be looking at the types like that,” Jocketty said on Monday…As expected, he noted that the [Rolen] move was not made to clear space to add a high-priced player. “It was a move to keep our team as much intact as we can,” Jocketty said. “We’re still not in position to add more to the club.”

Josh Anderson is a 27 yr-old left-handed outfielder, who came up as a centerfielder, but has seen time in all 3 outfield positions in his limited time in the majors. He has 519 plate appearances over 3 major league seasons, posting a slash line of .272/.313/.352. He is coming off his worst offensive season, rivaling Willy Taveras, with a .240/.276/.304 line. His career numbers in the majors and minors appear very similar to Taveras, posting a slightly worse OBP and a slightly better SLG.

Unless Jocketty surprises us with a trade of Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, or Francisco Cordero, these are the types of signings we will see over the next two months. I’m hoping we’ll see more high-upside signings like we saw with Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes last year.

No reason was given, but Sheldon’s blog post on Monday also indicated that the Reds have lost interest in signing Noah Lowry.

29 Responses

  1. hoosierdad

    I’m at a loss to understand how this signing does anything to improve this club. One thing we do not need are left-handed hitting outfielders. While he does play decent defense on the corners, we already have that and more in Nix. Our outfielders in the minors can do what he does and more. The sure way to improve the outfield situation for the Reds is to dfa WT.

  2. Steve Price

    Her’es the good news about the signing…

    Anderson is from Somerset, Kentucky, and went to Eastern Kentucky University…so, at least he may be interested in stabilizing his career playing at Louisville.

    As for his major league career…he’s played in the bigs the past three seasons and he’s already been with four major league teams (Reds make number five). That probably means he’s athletic or teams wouldn’t continue to give him chances. He’s played 179 major league games (519 plate appearances)

    However…his OPS has declined each season (816, 764, 580); in fact, it’s declined with each major league team (816, 764, 597, 556). It kind of sounds like the scouts have figured him out. Career OPS is 665 in those 519 plate appearances.

    Sparky Anderson’s career was one season (152 games, 527 plate appearances) and his OPS was 531. So, I guess Josh Anderson, the outfielder, hits better than Sparky Anderson, the second baseman.

  3. GregD

    Yes, Willy actually got on-base in the minors.

    From 2002-04, Taveras played a full season in each of A, A+, and AA, posting OBP of .385, .381, .402. And this was acutally due to a good bb/ab ratio, not because of an excessively high AVG.

    Minors
    WT: .288/.370/.361, bb/ab 10.5%
    JA: .294/.344/.378, bb/ab 6.1%

  4. Sultan of Swaff

    I just can’t believe, for the second year in a row, that we could drastically improve our chances to win the division if we only had a measly $5-6mil laying around. Last year it could’ve been Abreu, this year you’ve got Damon, Vlad, and Dye, who all could be had for a similar price.
    I don’t begrudge the $$ Harang or Arroyo are getting, but the Coco contract directly correlates to our inability to fill the LF hole. Just a stupid outlay of money for a position that should be the final piece of the puzzle, not the first thing you acquire when you’re in a rebuilding mode.

    • preach

      Sultan of Swaff: I just can’t believe, for the second year in a row, that we could drastically improve our chances to win the division if we only had a measly $5-6mil laying around. Last year it could’ve been Abreu, this year you’ve got Damon, Vlad, and Dye, who all could be had for a similar price.I don’t begrudge the $$ Harang or Arroyo are getting, but the Coco contract directly correlates to our inability to fill the LF hole. Just a stupid outlay of money for a position that should be the final piece of the puzzle, not the first thing you acquire when you’re in a rebuilding mode.

      You know, I agree. Except I don’t even blame the CoCo contract. In the scheme of things, I don’t understand how a MLB franchise cannot outlay $5 mil, which is little more than change at that level, for a difference maker. Bargains are to be had, and if management is the least bit desirous of contending this season, lay out a little money. Just a little. Josh Anderson? Please. For the money of 4 Andersons, which I’m sure we will spend anyway, you could get a real baseball player. Sad, really.

      • RiverCity Redleg

        preach: You know, I agree. Except I don’t even blame the CoCo contract. In the scheme of things, I don’t understand how a MLB franchise cannot outlay $5 mil, which is little more than change at that level, for a difference maker. Bargains are to be had, and if management is the least bit desirous of contending this season, lay out a little money. Just a little.

        I agree totally. I’ve got no problem with Coco’s contract, that’s what it took to get him, I am more concerned why they can’t wisely spend an extra $4-5m and get the missing piece, whoever that may be.

  5. RedinFla

    Okay.
    “slightly worse OBP” is sitting in the pit of my stomach.
    Don’t really know if I’ll be able to eat lunch. 👿

  6. JustTheFacts

    I just looked up his minor league stats but then found GregD had already done so.

    He had a pretty good Minor League career. But then he fizzled when he arrived in the majors. I see nothing wrong with making him a 4th outfielder at Louisville and have him work with RS to fix whatever is wrong with him. He has an upside, it just looks like he has head problems in the Bigs.

    Let’s face it, there is NO way he will come north with the team no matter how well he does in Spring Training (I’m relying on common sense which worries me a bit when I remember the Gomes/McDonald debacle last year). But who is he going to beat out? Bruce? Dickerson?, Willy T with his 4 mill? Stubbs? No way. But if you can get him home in Kentucky, and give him a chance to take the past couple years in the majors, work on what’s ailing him, then he MAY have an opportunity to have a small role down the stretch. My point is they need to tread him like a prospect, not a failed major leaguer. In that line of logic, why not take a flyer on him at minor league prices.

    I like his speed and ability to wreck (not clog) the bases when he’s able to get on base. But I’m not sure you can say he’s a decent defender. He hasn’t had enough innings to prove that. The very fact his UZR/150 and WAR don’t match tells me there is not enough data to have an accurate assessment of his defensive talent. And what can we say about his offense in the majors. It’s offensive (Pardon the pun).

    Seriously though. My problem with the signing is not Josh Anderson (depending on what they do with him), my problem is why do they sign him when you have better opions available at the same price. Why would they sign him and leave Norris Hopper sitting on his pull-out sofa. What’s he doing these days? Selling steaks door to door probably? I’m not advocating signing Hopper (well, maybe I would if they got rid of Willy T), but he’s a much, much better option than both Anderson and Taveras in that same role. For that matter, what’s wrong with Freel (who admittedly fell through the bottom of the tank year last year)? Again, not advocating, just making a point. Why not Chris Denorfia, or Jeff Fiorentino? Walt isn’t trolling more like dredging.

    It’s quite confounding. And like I said when we hijacked Bill’s post when the news broke, another log in the jam and more junk on the field.

    Perhaps WJ just wanted to make some news. As quiet as things have been around here, people have forgotten there is a major league team in town.

  7. preach

    There’s always something humorous about using “Freel” and “tank” in the same sentence…..

  8. J-DUBB

    Come on guys don’t get bent out of shape over a Josh Anderson signing. I think Jock thinks of him as depth and possible insurance in case Dickerson either doesn’t perform or gets injured. Anderson and Dickerson are very similar players: left handed, speedy, can play all outfield positions. I think it’s a good high upside signing.

    • Steve

      J-DUBB: Come on guys don’t get bent out of shape over a Josh Anderson signing. I think Jock thinks of him as depth and possible insurance in case Dickerson either doesn’t perform or gets injured. Anderson and Dickerson are very similar players: left handed, speedy, can play all outfield positions. I think it’s a good high upside signing.

      I agree there is no reason to exaggerate the negative of this signing – unless – Dusty Baker gets impressed at spring training and brings him north.

      But two other points.

      Anderson is NOT the same player as Dickerson. First, they are substantially different in terms of walks and OBP. Second, Dickerson has shown periods of pop in his bat. Third, Dickerson is an amazing CF, where Anderson isn’t.

      Finally, why is Anderson a “good upside signing” considering he has never been good?

  9. BJ Ruble

    This is a useless signing, at best bringing depth at the AAA level. I really don’t understand it even at that. You already have Stubbs, Dickerson, Heisey, and WT that all play CF. I guess it will give depth at L’Ville if Heisey can make the big club out of spring training. I just don’t like the idea of Dusty having access to these types of players. 😥

  10. preach

    “I just don’t like the idea of Dusty having access to these types of players.”

    My fear perfectly encapsulated in one sentence.

    • RedinFla

      preach: “I just don’t like the idea of Dusty having access to these types of players.”My fear perfectly encapsulated in one sentence.

      J-DUBB — I’m not really bent out of shape. It’s just frustrating when a team that needs to turn a new page signs more of the same old story.
      I hope Anderson is a good “fit” and enjoys playing close to home.

      I really hope he’ll make a positive difference for the team somehow. That’s what we’re checking the news every day looking for.

  11. Bill Lack

    For those looking for $5M laying around, isn’t that what they saved by extending Rolen?

  12. GregD

    @Bill Lack: That deal supposedly makes it so they aren’t forced to trade Harang (and some cash) to the Dodgers.

  13. Glenn

    It IS just a Minor league signing here. I can’t imagine there’s any guaranteed money in this contract. If not for a total lack of off season action by the Reds the Anderson signing would not even be noticed. Let’s not hang the future of the 2010 season on this.

  14. David Kaiser

    why are they wasting time and noney on siging rejects?all they are doing is taking time away from thier own young players!hiesy stubbs and bruce are the future play them!how are they going get better without experiance?how are they going to get the experiance if they don’t play?what so by signing these rejects they finish 25 games back instead of 30?if baker can’t or won’t play and develop these guys then get somebody who can!nobody wants to lose but if you are going to at least play the prospects to show there is hope for the future!I would rather play the young guys and lose now and know that they will have a young experianced lineup to contend for years to come, than watch guys who they just signed and taveras and the likes.

  15. Travis G.

    Hopefully this guy will never see any ML playing time next season. Otherwise, someone has to be the fourth OF in AAA.

    In other news, the Yankees are seeking a right-handed hitting OF to come off the bench, and GM Brian Cashman specifically said he doesn’t need a left-handed one. This is relevant for two reasons: The Reds have more competition for Jonny Gomes, and Johnny Damon no longer has his top choice of teams.

  16. JustTheFacts

    Okay, so the Reds need a Power bat in LF (Assuming we don’t find it from within) there are a few options left.

    1st – There is Gomes. Rumor has it though the Yankees are sniffing around. The Reds won’t be able to compete the what they Yankee will offer.

    However, IMO if you want a left handed bat, Jack Cust is worth a look.
    Lifetime Stats: AVG .239, OBP .356, SLG.417, OPS+ 121. UZR is horrible, but CHONE puts his WAR at 2.4. Did I meantion he had 26, 33, 25 HR in the past three seasons. He has had a better bat during the past three years than either of Bruce’s years. His defense is on par with Adam Dunn’s.

    On right side of the plate you have someone we are all familiar with, Marcus Thames. Lifetime .243, .306, .491, 104 hitter. Slightly less frightening UZR and not valued over replacement. Same power as Gomes and Cust, slighly better defense than Cust but not as good as Gomes, just not quite the same offense as either.

    IMO of the three I’d prefer Gome, but maybe the Reds could take a flyer on Cust and see how he does in the 6 or 7 hole. The problem is putting a left handed hitter in the middle of the lineup where all the other lefties are. I like is OBP and power. He has good plate discipline and has a good walk to strike out ratio.

    Any thoughts?

  17. JustTheFacts

    Well, just read that Cust is due to make 4-5 million and has many suitors, but is hoping to return to the A’s. Half-baked research.

  18. Travis G.

    The A’s re-signed Cust to a one-year deal worth $2.65 million, plus incentives. Isn’t that about what Gomes would have sought in arbitration?

    In other news, Brandon Webb sounds like he wants to be a Red:

    “Obviously you want to see what’s out there and do the best deal you can for yourself and your family. That’s probably No. 1. We’ve had a great time in Arizona, and if everything works out and we stay here, that would be good. But to get back close to home [in Kentucky] would be just as good. I’m definitely keeping it open. I’m not going to hold myself down to just Arizona.”

    Harang and Arroyo each have $2 million buyouts for 2011, if they’re not traded at midseason.

  19. Luke Price

    I think that Chris Dickerson is a little bit better than Josh Anderson.

  20. JustTheFacts

    The stove was up full blast today. Lots of news. Sadly, none about the Reds.

    Seems every week the Mariners are making a big splash. It’s kind of cool to watch. They’ve put together an impressive team this winter and have made a few mind blowing moves. I wonder if some of the special effort has to do with getting Junior a ring in his last year. Of course they have all this extra money this year they’ve shed a lot of dead wood… about 50 million worth. Plus I suppose it helps to have Junior in your back pocket to help sell tickets. But you really have to be impressed with the way to work.

    I’m kinda hoping they are able to win it for Junior (provided they don’t beat the Reds in the World Series to do it 😉 ).

    • Chad Dotson

      JustTheFacts: Seems every week the Mariners are making a big splash.It’s kind of cool to watch.They’ve put together an impressive team this winter and have made a few mind blowing moves.

      I’m VERY impressed with the new front office in Seattle. It appears that putting good people in place and letting them do their job can pay dividends. Who knew?

  21. pinson343

    Getting Casey Kotchman is another nice move by the Mariners. Once given the chance to settle down in one place, I think he’ll thrive. Has to stay healthy, obviously. Remember when there were Adam Dunn for Kotchman rumors ?

    Even with all his power, I think they were smart to let Russell Branyon go. Not a big fan of his.

  22. hoosierdad

    Who would’ve thought after this ho-hum signing and no moves made in the off-season, the Reds would go out and get Chapman. Walt sure did serve up a shocker with that one!