A's Ink Ace Anderson To Long-Term Deal

The Oakland A's made a move to secure a cornerstone of the team's future when they inked left-hander Brett Anderson to a four-year contract with team options for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, the team announced via Twitter on Friday. This contract covers Anderson's arbitration years and his first year of free agency.

Many pundits around baseball questioned the Oakland A's decision to trade young ace Dan Haren before the 2008 season for a collection of prospects, especially because Haren was signed to a reasonable deal that covered his arbitration years. However, the A's felt that they were not in a position to contend in 2008 and wanted to extend their window to compete by bringing in a younger ace. The A's felt that ace was Brett Anderson, who was one of six players acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It didn't take long for Anderson to prove the A's were right in their thinking.

Anderson zoomed through the A's minor league system in 2008, starting the year in High-A Stockton and finishing the campaign pitching in the playoffs for Triple-A Sacramento, with stops with the US Olympic team and Double-A Midland along the way.

Anderson was invited to the A's major league spring training camp the following season as a non-roster invitee. He was expected to start the season with Sacramento, but Anderson was so impressive that the A's couldn't justify sending him back to the minor leagues. He would spend the entire season with the A's, winning 11 games and setting a team rookie record for strike-outs in a season with 150. The young lefty was particularly good as the season went on, tossing a complete-game shut-out against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway in July and posting a 2.96 ERA over his last 17 starts of the season.

Thus far this season, Anderson has been impressive. In two starts, he has allowed only nine hits in 12 innings with three walks and 10 strike-outs. His fastball has ranged in the 92-96 MPH range and his curveball has been particularly sharp.

Anderson would have been eligible for free agency after the 2014 season, but if the A's pick up their team options on Anderson, he will remain with Oakland through at least 2015.

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