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Dodgers Sign Garret Anderson to Minor League Deal

The Dodgers added another aging lefty to their stable of non-roster bench candidates, signing former Angel outfielder Garret Anderson to a minor league contract.  Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reported the deal is worth $550,000 plus incentives, with an out clause if he doesn't make the roster by opening day.

If anything, this is insurance in case fellow lefty bench battlers Brian Giles and Doug Mientkiewicz don't make the roster.  Ken Gurnick of took it one step further:

Anderson, who signed a one-year big league deal with the Atlanta Braves on Feb. 24 of last year, becomes the favorite for the lefty bat off the bench over Brian Giles and Doug Mientkiewicz, who both spent most of last season injured. Giles missed most of the second half with a chronic knee issue and is uncertain if it can take the pounding of baseball, while Mientkiewicz blew out his shoulder on a headfirst slide and is unable to do anything more than lob throws.

Sounds like Anderson, who struggled to the tune of .268/.303/.401 and a .305 wOBA with Atlanta last year, has a good shot to make the club.  Anderson is the all-time Angels' franchise leader in games, plate appearances, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, and RBI.  He is second in home runs and third in triples.  Assuming Anderson signed the same contract as Giles and Mientkiewicz, his incentives would be as follows:

  • $25,000 for 150 plate appearances
  • $25,000 for 200 PA
  • $50,000 for 250 PA
  • $50,000 for 300 PA
  • $50,000 for 350 PA

Mr. 3000?  Not Likely

Here is the all-time list of players to have between 2,500 and 2,600 career hits through their age 37 seasons, along with where they ended up:

Player Hits Thru 37 Hits Age 38+ Career Hits
Bill Buckner 2,598 117 2,715
Rusty Staub 2,598 118 2,716
Max Carey 2,585 80 2,665
Steve Garvey 2,583 16 2,599
Ken Griffey 2,558 205 2,763*
Fred Clarke 2,543 129 2,672
Wade Boggs 2,541 469 3,010
George Van Haltren 2,531 1 2,532
Heinie Manush 2,524 0 2,524
Buddy Bell 2,514 0 2,514
Andre Dawson 2,504 270 2,774
Garrett Anderson 2,501 ??? ???

The only members of the 3,000-hit club to have fewer than Anderson's 2,501 hits through age 37 all played regularly for several years past age 37:

Player Hits Thru 37 Hits Age 38+ Years w/400+ PA Career Hits
Cap Anson 2,282 1,136 7 3,418
Dave Winfield 2,421 689 4 3,110
Rickey Henderson 2,450 605 5 3,055
Craig Biggio 2,461 599 4 3,060

Cap Anson was a player-manager, so getting his name in the lineup wasn't a problem (he also had a 118 OPS+ from age 38-45, so it wasn't a bad choice).  As you can see, Anderson has quite the uphill climb in his quest for 3,000 hits.