Miami Marlins Finally Shore Up Shortstop, Sign Tim Anderson

The Miami Marlins finally shored up their biggest weakness and signed an MLB player, coming to terms with free-agent shortstop Tim Anderson.

Miami Marlins v Chicago White Sox
Miami Marlins v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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At long last, the Miami Marlins finally went out and did something that a sizable portion of their fanbase had been clamoring for them to do since last season ended.

Find a starting shortstop. Welcome to Miami, Tim Anderson.

The news broke Thursday morning, courtesy of ESPN's Jesse Rogers. One year, $5 million. Not bad for a former batting champion who won't turn 31 years old until halfway through the season, and is just one year removed from consecutive All-Star nods.

Really, the signing kills two birds with one stone from the perspective of the woe-is-me, why couldn't I have been born in the Bronx fan of the Miami Marlins. For not only did Miami sign a starting shortstop, but they also spent actual currency on an actual MLB free agent. The drought is over!

Anderson absolutely has his warts. He struggled in just about every way imaginable in 2023. The man he's essentially replacing, Joey Wendle, had more home runs...and Wendle only hit two. Anderson hit the ball into the ground over sixty percent of the time, and his .286 OBP was the lowest it had been since 2018. He's slower, and has lost a step defensively- not what you want from a player who was never exactly an elite defender to begin with. As MLB Trade Rumors notes, he came right out and said last year he'd be willing to play second base. Now part of that was obviously about money, not to mention getting out of Chicago and onto a contender's roster. Even so, it raises even more questions about how much Anderson can bring to the table in 2024.

Still, his terrible by his standard .245/.286 marks in batting average and on base percentage were light years ahead of Wendle and Jean Segura. He can be as bad as he was last season and still make Miami better than they were last season, all things being equal. Unlike Miami's softball team of second basemen, he is actually a shortstop. He was also never the same at the plate after an April injury, and that's after four consecutive seasons as a .300 hitter. Anderson has always been well above league average in terms of BABIP, but last year feels much more like an aberration than just regression to the mean finally killing him. The days of contending for a batting title might be behind him. But .270, .280? That's definitely on the table, and it would be transformational for the Marlins.

Plus, it's hard to quibble with the cost here, as it is a win-win for both sides. Anderson gets a chance to prove he is worth one more multi-year deal. The Marlins get to reasonably claim they signed one of the best players available in free agency at one of their two positions of greatest need, and keep the wolves at bay. That, and to avoid plundering the farm system any further. For the foreseeable future, just as was the case with the opt-out filled contract of Jorge Soler, these are the kind of deals the Marlins are going to have to rely on to get All-Star veteran talent to put on a Marlins uniform. Deals that allow the player to bet on themselves and cash-in elsewhere.

And then there's the fact that the Marlins can claim to have rostered three of the last five AL batting champions at some point during the last year. Pretty sure they get a plaque or something for that.

Kidding aside, at this point in the offseason (can we still call it the offseason?), for this little money, there's nothing not to like about this move for Miami.

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