LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starting pitcher Brett Anderson will return in 2016 on a one-year, $15.8 million deal, and he said Monday that his decision on Friday to accept the qualifying offer rather than test the free agent market was two-fold.
"There were a couple multi-year offers but I wanted to bet on myself. I liked everything in LA, my teammates, everything about it but the ending," Anderson said on a conference call. "Returning on a one-year deal, hopefully I can get the stigma of my health record off my back and go into next season and see what happens."
Anderson, 27, also took a one-year deal last year to join the Dodgers, but his situation was much different. He was coming off back surgery, and averaged just 52 innings per season from 2011-2014 with a myriad of injuries.
He said there was some discussion with the Dodgers last week about a multi-year deal, before Friday's deadline to accept or decline the qualifying offer.
"They have a lot on their plate right now," Anderson said. "It's one of those things we might talk about at a later date."
Among the many things on he plate of the Dodgers front office is hiring a manager and sorting out the coaching staff, which is still very much in flux. But Anderson said the uncertainty surrounding the coaching staff wasn't a big factor in his decision to return.
"Obviously we have some smart people at the top, and I feel like they're going to make the right decision," Anderson said.
Anderson was healthy all season for the Dodgers, setting career highs in starts (31) and innings (180⅓) in 2015. That could have translated into a multi-year deal, even with the draft pick cost attached had Anderson declined the qualifying offer. But this market Anderson would have to compete on a pitching market that includes several high-end options like Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann, and several potentially attractive options in Jeff Samardzija, Yovani Gallardo, Wei-Yin Chen, Ian Kennedy, Hisashi Iwakuma, and others.
As it stands now, next year's starting pitching free agent market looks awfully thin, with Stephen Strasburg and Andrew Cashner potentially surrounded by an awful lot of meh. However, Anderson downplayed the market differences.
"You have to go out there and prove yourself, and prove what the market says you're going to get," Anderson explained. "Just because there are bodies out there doesn't mean they'll get X amount of dollars."
How Anderson could improve his market next winter is with another strong season in 2016, when he will only be 28 years old. Since Anderson isn't coming off back surgery or any other injuries this offseason, he can do more this year compared to last in preparation for the season.
"The biggest thing this offseason is doing more strength training, trying to stay strong for 30-plus starts rather than just try to get my body ready to get through the 30 starts."
Anderson faded a bit down the stretch, with a 5.08 ERA and 12.3-percent strikeout rate and eight home runs allowed in his last 10 starts, after a 3.06 ERA, a 17-percent strikeout rate and 10 home runs given up in his first 21 starts.
He averaged 91.8 mph on his four-seam fastball and 91.2 mph on his sinker in 2015, per Brooks Baseball, and he lost about a mile on each pitch in the season's final month.
"Having a pseudo-normal offseason and building some strength, hopefully that will translate to some more velocity," Anderson explained. "It don't think I'll ever be where I was in 2009-2010, in the mid- to upper-90s, but if I can get more power in my slider and sneak some more fastballs by people, I'll take that."