Veteran left-hander has playoff experience

Updated: August 25, 2003, 3:34 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Brian Anderson deserved a break this season, and he got one Monday.

Anderson was acquired for the pennant race by the Kansas City Royals, who sent the Cleveland Indians two minor leaguers and agreed to pay some of the left-hander's performance bonuses for 2003.

The 31-year-old Anderson went 9-10 with a 3.71 ERA for Cleveland, which signed him to a one-year free agent contract in December and may go after him again this winter.

Anderson has had a solid season in his second stint with the Indians, but has been unlucky in many of his 24 starts. Cleveland has given up a major league-high 27 unearned runs behind him.

Both Anderson and Kansas City hope that trend changes with the Royals, who will start him Tuesday night against Texas. Kansas City is one game behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central.

"He's had some success against the clubs we're going to be playing," Royals general manager Allard Baird said. "He has playoff experience and World Series experience."

Baird said the trade was not a reaction Sunday's game, in which right-hander Kevin Appier left his start against Minnesota with tightness in his elbow.

"We tried to make this deal prior to the trade deadline, but it just did not work out," Baird said.

Appier, who has been pitching with a partial tear all season, is scheduled to see a doctor Tuesday.

"I have mixed emotions," said Anderson, who is from Geneva, Ohio. "It's been awesome here, getting to play at home. But now I have the chance to get into a division race. I'm sure those (mixed) feelings will go away, but it's five weeks, and it's meaningful baseball."

In exchange for Anderson, who won a World Series title with Arizona, the Indians got first baseman-outfielder Trey Dyson and right-hander Kieran Mattison and cash considerations from the Royals.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said those considerations were the Royals' willingness to pay performances bonuses Anderson was due if he made a certain number of starts this season.

Shapiro said Anderson drew interest from two teams before the July 31 trading deadline, and three more teams were aggressive in trying to sign Anderson before Aug. 31 when teams must have players on their roster to have them eligible for the postseason.

"The Royals wanted this player badly," Shapiro said. "They were the most persistent and willing to do the most to get him."

Getting another pitcher became a more pressing priority for the Royals after right-hander Kevin Appier left his start Sunday against Minnesota with tightness in his elbow.

Appier, who has been pitching with a partial tear all season, is scheduled to see a doctor Tuesday.

Anderson has playoff experience with Cleveland and Arizona. As a reliever, he made three appearances in the 1997 ALCS with the Indians and pitched in three World Series games against Florida.

He was the Diamondbacks' starter for Game 3 of the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees.

Anderson waived a $600,000 bonus he was due if he got traded so the Indians and Royals could complete the deal. He will be a free agent again this winter, and Anderson would prefer to return to Cleveland.

Shapiro said he would like to have Anderson back.

"I would still like to have one veteran in our rotation to provide us with stability," he said.

Kansas City needs wins. And after pitching against the Royals, Anderson is now eager to help the AL's surprise team cap their improbable season with a playoff appearance.

"They've stayed right in it," he said. "Everybody was waiting to see if they were for real and now they're doing that. It's going to be a fight until the end."

Dyson, 23, has spent this season Wilmington of the Single-A Carolina League, where he batted .275 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs in 128 games.

Mattison, 23, went 8-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 17 starts for Burlington of the Class A Midwest League.

Shapiro said both players will report to the Indians' Kinston (Single-A) affiliate.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press