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A’s starter Brett Anderson undergoes Tommy John surgery

Jul 14, 2011, 12:19 PM EDT

Brett Anderson Getty Images

Brett Anderson was placed on the disabled list with a sore elbow in early June and Dr. James Andrews later advised him to rest for at least six weeks, which at the time indicated he wouldn’t need to go under the knife.

Unfortunately the time off must not have done much for Anderson’s elbow, as the A’s just announced that the 23-year-old southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery that knocks him out for the remainder of this season and most or perhaps even all of 2012.

Oakland has had tons of injury problems over the years, but losing Anderson is a particularly huge blow.  He was limited to just 19 starts last season due to elbow issues, but emerged as a potential ace with a 2.80 ERA and has a 3.66 career mark in 371 innings. Now he’s out for 12-18 months and no sure thing to pick up right where he left off once he does return. It’s a long, bumpy road coming back from Tommy John surgery and the A’s just lost one of their best long-term building blocks.

All of which makes Anderson’s decision to take the guaranteed money of a long-term deal in March of last year look pretty smart. He’ll make $3 million next season whether he pitches or not, has a $5.5 million salary locked in for 2013, and will get $3 million worth of buyouts if the A’s don’t exercise 2014 and 2015 options.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Tough luck for both Anderson and Oakland. Financially, he certainly made the right decision when he signed that contract. Lets hope that his miney is invested wisely.

    • Charles Gates - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      Agreed. This is why I would have done the same thing as Evan Longoria. Sure, his contract is waaaaaay below market value now, but the value of the first $50MM is a whole lot more than the next $50MM.

      • Alex K - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        Couldn’t agree more. It’s all about marginal value, in my opinion.

        But I will never fault a guy for going year to year and making as much money as they possibly can.

  2. clydeserra - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    As an A’s fan, I am shocked, shocked by this news. I never saw this coming after he was removed after 4 innings against Cleveland in may of last year only to be DL’d and pitch two games on his return only to be forced out of a game by his catcher in boston, then came back and was shut down twice this year.

    Shocked. Stunned. Shocked and Stunned.

    • kast2l - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      he might be finished….

    • JBerardi - Jul 14, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Not keeping your pitchers healthy is the new market inefficiency.

  3. APBA Guy - Jul 14, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Clyde’s on target in his comments. This whole thing has a dance of the seven veils aspect to it, with Anderson’s diminished velocity, the absence of his trademark hard slider, and his reliance on a flip curve that doesn’t fool major leaguers. I remember watching an Astros rookie league game near Orlando, and under a tree at a picnic table sat 8 Astros rookies, all of them with TJ surgery slings. One of their coaches said with lefties, it’s not if, but when.

    Anyway, looks like 2012 won’t be any better for the A’s than 2011. Wolff will probably raise ticket and parking prices now.

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