Atlanta Braves Sign Nick Anderson to Potentially Elite Bullpen in 2023

The Atlanta Braves have been busy this offseason, adding several pieces to their roster in hopes of making another deep playoff run in 2023. One of the most intriguing moves they made was signing reliever Nick Anderson to a one-year deal worth $7 million, with a club option for 2024.

Anderson, who turns 32 in July, was one of the best relievers in baseball in 2019 and 2020, posting a combined 1.43 ERA and 14.3 K/9 in 75 innings for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Atlanta Braves Sign Nick Anderson to Potentially Elite Bullpen in 2023

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He was a key part of their bullpen that helped them reach the World Series in 2020, where he recorded six saves and struck out 26 batters in 14.2 innings.

However, Anderson missed most of the 2021 season after undergoing elbow surgery in March. He returned in September and pitched in six games for the Rays, but he was clearly not the same pitcher he was before.

He allowed seven runs and three homers in 5.1 innings, and his fastball velocity dropped from an average of 95.8 mph in 2020 to 93.6 mph in 2021.

The Rays decided to non-tender Anderson rather than pay him a projected $3.5 million in arbitration, making him a free agent. The Braves saw an opportunity to buy low on a potentially elite reliever and signed him to a deal that could pay off big time if he can regain his form.

The Braves are betting on Anderson’s track record and his ability to bounce back from injury. They are also hoping that he can benefit from working with pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who has helped several Braves pitchers improve their performance and health.

Anderson has a simple but effective repertoire of a four-seam fastball and a curveball. His fastball has elite spin rate and movement, making it hard to hit even when it’s not at its fastest.

His curveball is a sharp breaking pitch that he can use to get swings and misses or induce weak contact.

When he’s healthy and on his game, Anderson can dominate hitters from both sides of the plate. He has held right-handed batters to a .156/.205/.281 slash line and left-handed batters to a .167/.228/.250 slash line in his career.

The Braves have a solid bullpen that features Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, Chris Martin and A.J. Minter among others. Adding Anderson to the mix could give them another weapon to close out games or pitch in high-leverage situations.

Anderson is not without risk, as he could struggle to regain his velocity or suffer another injury setback. But he also has tremendous upside, as he could return to being one of the best relievers in baseball and help the Braves win another NL East title and contend for a championship.

The Braves have made a savvy move by signing Anderson to a low-risk, high-reward deal that could be a steal if he can recapture his magic.

Final Thoughts: Nick Anderson Signing a Potential Steal for Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves’ signing of Nick Anderson has the potential to be a significant steal for the team. Anderson was one of the best relievers in baseball in 2019 and 2020, playing a crucial role in the Tampa Bay Rays’ run to the World Series.

However, he missed most of the 2021 season due to injury, which saw a drop in his fastball velocity and overall performance.

Despite this setback, the Braves have seen an opportunity to acquire a potentially elite reliever and signed Anderson to a one-year deal worth $7 million, with a club option for 2024.

They are hoping that Anderson’s track record and his ability to bounce back from injury will pay off, especially when working with their pitching coach, Rick Kranitz.

Anderson has a simple but effective repertoire of a four-seam fastball and a curveball, which can be difficult for hitters to hit due to its elite spin rate and movement.

His curveball is a sharp breaking pitch that he can use to get swings and misses or induce weak contact. When he’s healthy and on his game, Anderson can dominate hitters from both sides of the plate.

The Braves already have a solid bullpen, but Anderson’s addition could give them another weapon to close out games or pitch in high-leverage situations.

However, there is still some risk involved in signing Anderson, as he could struggle to regain his velocity or suffer another injury setback.

Overall, the Braves have made a savvy move by signing Anderson to a low-risk, high-reward deal. If he can recapture his magic and return to being one of the best relievers in baseball, he could help the Braves win another NL East title and contend for a championship.

Therefore, this signing has the potential to be a steal for the Atlanta Braves.