The Chicago White Sox seemingly had a difficult decision to make with Tim Anderson.
On one hand, declining his $14 million option for 2024 would be easy. He could have been considered the worst player in the majors last year as his .582 OPS was the lowest of any qualified player. On the other hand, there is not exactly much available at short this offseason. Colson Montgomery is the future at the position, but with 167 plate appearances above A-ball, he may not be ready.
Ultimately, his struggles outweighed anything else. The White Sox declined their option on Anderson on Saturday, electing to pay a $1 million buyout and send him into the open market.
Tim Anderson needs to prove himself again after Chicago White Sox decline option
Anderson had been a solid piece for the White Sox over the past four years. He produced a .318/.347/.474 batting line in his 1641 plate appearances, hitting 51 homers and 85 doubles. A two time All Star and the 2019 AL batting champ, Anderson had seemingly established himself as one of the better middle infielders in the game.
Everything fell apart last year. He put together a putrid .245/.286/.296 batting line with just one homer and 18 doubles in his 524 plate appearances. He was also starting to become a bit of a distraction, comparing himself to Jackie Robinson which led to a dustup with then Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson. Anderson attempted to fight Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez last season, a decision that left him on his back. Maybe the struggles, both personally and of the team, were getting to him. But it is still not what anyone wanted to see.
It is possible that Anderson can rebound in 2024. He will turn 31 years old and is still in the midst of his theoretical prime. Anderson was an above average piece with the bat in 2022. It would make sense for a team to give him a chance on a one year deal as he looks to prove that last year was an aberration. However, another rough season could make those chances dry up.
The Chicago White Sox have moved on from Tim Anderson. He may be facing a make or break season next year.