Tyler Anderson explains why signing with Angels was a 'no-brainer'

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tyler Anderson (31) aims a pitch during the first inning.
Dodgers pitcher Tyler Anderson delivers against the Miami Marlins in August. Anderson says staying on the West Coast factored in his decision to sign a three-year, $39-million deal with the Angels. (Marta Lavandier / Associated Press)

Left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson bet on himself while keeping his family in mind when he decided to sign with the Angels.

“There were other three-year offers,” Anderson said in his Angels introductory Zoom conference on Thursday. “There were a lot of teams that had three and were willing to do maybe more if we went into free agency longer. For me, that wasn't a risk I wanted to take.”

Anderson signed a three-year, $39-million deal with the Angels, turning down the Dodgers' one-year, $19.65-million qualifying offer before Tuesday’s deadline.

The decision allowed him to remain on the West Coast, trading in his Dodger blue for Angel red without needing to relocate or change how far away he’d be from his family, which lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“To be able to have somewhere that's got spring training at home,” he said. “I have three kids … for me, it's a no-brainer to try to do with a team in Arizona to get those extra two months at home in the offseason.

“My family means everything to me and so to have them there as much as I can, it's so easy for them to come in if they want to drive [to Anaheim] ... and if they fly.”

The Angels' spring training facility is in Tempe, Ariz. In his seven-year big league career, he’s only once played for a team closer to the East Coast than the West. That was in 2021 when he briefly played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose spring facility is in Florida. He was traded midseason to the Seattle Mariners that year.

Anderson said there were some discussions about working out a longer-term deal with the Dodgers, but those talks never went far enough. Anderson had a career year with the Dodgers, going 15-5 with a 2.57 earned-run average.

In the end, his decision to head to Anaheim was easy.

“For me a chance to come here for a few years and have some security for my family,” Anderson said, “but really to be a part of a team that I think is going to be really good. I think we have a lot of good players.”

The 2022 All-Star has heard good things about the Angels from former players of the club, though he has not had time to talk with anyone on the current roster.

There was a five-day window for eligible free agents who were extended qualifying offers to negotiate contracts with teams before making a decision on those offers. The window, which in past years was 10 days long, was shortened this year because of the lockout before the 2022 season. It wasn’t long enough to do a meet-and-greet with present Angels, Anderson said.

General manager Perry Minasian said by signing Anderson, the Angels got exactly the starting pitcher they were looking for.

“Not only adding to the rotation, not only his talent, but the makeup and bringing that type of competitiveness,” Minasian said Wednesday. “And he's got some edge to him, and we definitely need that.

“The biggest thing for us is we need to be in a position where we have a chance to win every day and that starts with a starter. And I know people like to slot starters. … For us, we'd like to throw six quality starters out there and no matter what the day is, feel like we have a chance to win that game and he does that.”

Anderson joins a team intent on keeping a six-man rotation, something he said did not weigh on his decision.

That rotation isn’t set in stone, but will include its ace, Shohei Ohtani.

Asked about getting to play with Ohtani — who broke up Anderson’s no-hit bid with a ninth-inning triple on June 15 — Anderson said: “Ohtani is an incredible talent, you know, generational talent that you don't get to see very often. And for me, I'm really just glad I don't have to face them anymore. Every time I pitched against him, he seems to get at least three bases or more. So I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.