Trading Tim Anderson

As Tim Anderson continues his ascent back to normal TA7 output, people are starting to ask about his trade value. This is certainly something to ponder, as Tim has a club option next year for $14M and will be a free agent in 2025. However, Tim’s performance thus far in 2023 has put him in a sell low position. So let’s take a look at this situation and what the go forward might be.

Which teams are in play?

While there are some teams pushing toward the playoffs that are getting sub-par offensive production from their shortstops, they’re typically players that won’t be displaced: Trea Turner (87 OPS+), Jeremy Peña (84 OPS+), Amed Rosario (85 OPS+), Anthony Volpe (82 OPS+). So while those aren’t great numbers, they’re WAY better than Tim’s at present and these teams are not likely to make a move for a SS. Especially for such a question mark.

Now, the Marlins could use an uptick in production at SS, but they can use hitting everywhere. I would guess they’re going to try to find hitting at less costly positions.

One team we have heard whispers of, is the Dodgers. The Dodgers were planning to have Gavin Lux handle SS after losing Trea Turner in free agency. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL and LCL. They’ve been using Miguel Rojas there, who hits about as well as Timmy currently does. However, Rojas is a good glove at 3 Outs Above Average and 11 Defensive Runs Saved. If the Dodgers wanted to supplant that with better hitting, they could use Chris Taylor more often at SS. So my guess is the Dodgers’ initial offer for Tim was somewhere around…

There is, however, a team that if they buy, could be a fit. And that is the Boston Red Sox. They’ve had a number of players man the position left open by Trevor Story‘s injury, with limited success. In July, it’s been mostly Yu Chang, who can definitely field the position, but is a negative at the plate. Being 2 games out of the Wild Card and well out of first place in their division, the Red Sox may be compelled to gamble on a player like Timmy.

The problem with a market this small is that the White Sox have very little leverage. And you also have to question:

What does SS look like for the 2024 White Sox?

The free agent class of Shortstops this off-season is, well, it’s not good:


There is not much to choose from and there will be suitors for the capable players. In addition to that problem, there is not much in the minors. Sure Lenyn Sosa and Jose Rodriguez are there, but your next real chance at an every day SS is Colson Montgomery and he’s only played 14 games above A ball. Pinning your hopes to him in 2024 or 2025 is a dangerous game.

What could a return look like?

As noted above, the Sox won’t have much leverage here. That could impact the return and make it a bit light. The good news is that if it’s the Dodgers, their system is DEEP. You can probably pull anyone from their top 30 and they’d be top 10 in the Sox system. But would they even offer that? And if not, we may be talking lottery ticket players that may never see a big league field.

If you’re looking at the Red Sox, maybe you can pry someone like David Hamilton. A speedster who is on the cusp of being a big leaguer and would immediately start for the White Sox while he’s relegated to AAA for the Red Sox. And if the Red Sox had TA7, Trevor Story, and a number of prospects ahead of Hamilton, they may be willing to send him. It feels crazy to think of Tim’s value this low because he was very recently one of the best players on the team.

What if you don’t move him now?

If you hang on to Timmy, you have some optionality in the off-season based on his performance and the market.

Let’s imagine you’re staunchly in the trade Timmy club, with the lack of free agent options above and probably many more teams looking to add at middle infield, his value will likely be higher in the off-season than it is now.

Conversely, if you’re in the keep Timmy club, his $14M option doesn’t look too high when you look around at what you could get outside the org. And if he plays well the remainder of the season, it will look even more affordable.

Last, if you just don’t like the guy and want him gone, the Sox could opt out of the deal at the end of the year if he doesn’t get back to normal levels of production. And if your response is “but then we get nothing for him”, I would say it’s likely the players we would get at this trade deadline would amount to about the same, nothing.


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