There was big news before the A’s even took the field for batting practice today, as left-hander Brett Anderson signed a contact extension that will pay him $12.5 million over four years (2010-13). The A’s hold club options for 2014 ($8 million) and 2015 ($12 million). Anderson gets a $1.5 million buyout if either option is declined. The deal replaces the $410,000 salary he was going to earn this season. He’ll get $500,000 this season; $1 million in 2011; $3 million in 2012 and $5.5 million in 2013.
That’s a pretty nice package for Anderson, 22, who’s just two starts into his second big league season. But it’s also a great deal for the A’s. They buy out his arbitration-eligible years (2012-14) as well as the first year he would have been eligible for free agency (2015).
Anderson was asked if he thought twice about bypassing his first season of possible free agency. “There’s something to be said for being secure at 22 years old,” he said. “I can go out there and focus on pitching and not have to worry about too much else for right now.”
It’s obviously a big statement from the A’s about the type of pitcher they see Anderson becoming. “I don’t know if we’ve had a guy since I’ve been here who’s accomplished as much as he has at that age,” GM Billy Beane said. “And there’s no reason to think he’s not going to continue to get better.”
–Second baseman Mark Ellis is out of the lineup for the fifth straight game with his hamstring injury. But he did some jogging and took grounders, so it would appear he’s moving in the right direction. Kurt Suzuki, hitting just .189, gets a night off. Manager Bob Geren said Suzuki’s been chasing some pitches he normally wouldn’t, so Jake Fox gets a start at catcher. Geren also pointed out that Fox worked well with tonight’s starter, Dallas Braden, on Sunday against the Angels.