Chase Anderson will turn 36 years old later this year, and definitely was not a part of the future of the Cincinnati Reds as they sit knee-deep in their rebuild. He had not been a part of the 2023 plans yet, either, having spent the entire season thus far working at AAA Louisville.
If the reports by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman are true, he won’t be a part of the rest of the 2023 campaign with Cincinnati, either - he’s headed to the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade.
Rays acquire Chase Anderson in trade with Reds— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 3, 2023
Anderson chipped in with 24.0 IP down the stretch for the Reds at the big league level in 2022, and while he was biding his time in AAA for now, the thought was that he’d ultimately get a chance to sponge up some innings for the Reds later this year. After all, the rotation is fronted by a trio of guys who have barely begun to compile IP atop the rotation in Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft, and it’s hardly in the M.O. of a rebuild to ask those guys to flirt with 200 IP in a season that’s not going anywhere in the win column. With reliever-turned-starter Luis Cessa and oft-injuried Luke Weaver rounding out the rotation and Connor Overton injured, it’s pretty clear that there will be innings available for Reds pitchers eventually.
Of course, for a veteran like Anderson, odds are he held an opt-out of his contract that coincided with the start of May, and it’s likely no coincidence that this deal went down around that deadline. The good folks at MLB Trade Rumors hinted at that, too, and it’s now obvious that the 4.30 ERA, 5.1 BB/9, 1.57 FIP, and recent rough track record in the majors weren’t going to warrant Anderson a call-up to the Reds as soon as he’d hoped.
As a result, the Reds got what they could for him, which will likely come in the form of a small backpack full of cash.
That leaves the red hot Andrew Abbott as the top pitching prospect who could provide depth later in the season, with veteran Ben Lively next up on the pecking order for some innings-chomping when the need ultimately arises. That still seems like a perilously thin group in charge of getting to the end of a grueling 162 game season, but surely the Reds have something else up their sleeve to get them there.
(As a side note, we talked about this for a bit in last night’s podcast at Walks Will Haunt, and the news this morning makes some of it now 100% not the case. Hopefully it’s still worth a listen, though, which you can do by hitting the play button on the embed below or following this link if said embed has been stripped out on your device.)