Like everyone else, the first thought I had when I read the Detroit Tigers had acquired CF Josh Anderson from the Atlanta Braves was Jordan Schafer has won the starting gig in Atlanta. My next one was why would the Tigers trade for another out-of-options outfielder? (The other two being Ryan Raburn and Marcus Thames).
This morning's release of $14MM DH Gary Sheffield throws a curveball into the situation. With Sheff off the team, the DH spot can be used to feed ABs to a number of players. It appears to be a role perfect for a platoon split of Thames and whatever left-handed bat needs work.
Anderson does bat left-handed. Would I even consider a DH platoon for a all-speed hitter? No, but Anderson will make the team, and the starting outfielders will not be platooned. At least with a lefty. Granderson may lose some ABs to a tough lefty as his .667 OPS hints.
Of course, this still seems weird given the Tigers really don't have a place for Anderson and could have used the minor league reliever used to acquire him in their own bullpen. My spider sense is tingling that something is going on in Detroit.
Regardless of my intuition, Josh Anderson is an excellent source of sleeper steals in Detroit.