12/22/09 5:15 PM EST
B. Anderson reaches deal with Royals
Center fielder reportedly to get $700K for one year
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
While Anderson certainly won't be coming back to the White Sox any time soon, he is returning to the familiar environs of the American League Central for the upcoming campaign.
MLB.com learned on Tuesday that Anderson and the Royals have agreed to a one-year deal. The deal reportedly calls for a base salary of $700,000, with incentives for another $100,000. Kansas City confirmed the deal Wednesday.
According to Terry Bross, Anderson's representative, four or five teams expressed interest in the outfielder after he became a free agent this offseason. That group included the Cubs, Nationals and Reds, but ultimately, the Royals stood as Anderson's ideal destination.
"Brian felt all along that Kansas City represented the best fit," said Bross of Anderson, who turns 28 on March 11. "And it was the best opportunity for him to become the guy and player we know he is."
As the Royals are currently set up, Jose Guillen and David DeJesus appear situated on the corner-outfield spots, with Anderson having a chance to compete with Mitch Maier for the job in center. Of course, that alignment could change if the Royals add another veteran, one who fits the speedy outfielder mold a la Coco Crisp, who looks to be moving on to Oakland.
Regardless of the competition, Anderson understands how the challenge really comes from within to finally live up to his vast potential. After hitting .238 with two home runs and 13 RBIs over 185 at-bats with the White Sox in 2009, he was moved for Mark Kotsay, who returns to Chicago as a valuable reserve in 2010. The Red Sox then non-tendered Anderson on Dec. 12, despite his five hits and two homers in 17 at-bats while with Boston.
This talented defensive outfielder was in search of a big league offer. But as his time in Chicago illustrated, nothing is guaranteed in this game, especially success, without hard work and adjustments.
"I just want an opportunity. That would be cool," said Anderson, a career .227 hitter with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs over 799 at-bats. "But I dug my own hole. I don't blame anybody. I'll be happy and appreciative of any opportunity.
"Some free agents are in more demand than others, but basically we are jobless and I'm not going to burn bridges," Anderson said before agreeing to the deal with the Royals. "I want to play, and it's not like I'm going to say no if you don't give me exactly what I want."
There were no hard feelings on Anderson's part toward the Red Sox for cutting him loose, although the move might have served as another small wakeup call. Anderson expressed the utmost respect for Boston manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein and their decision to let him go play somewhere else. There's a far better chance for Anderson to earn consistent at-bats in Kansas City.
Those positive feelings also are directed toward the White Sox, albeit with a bit more regret.
"In some eyes, I let people down," Anderson said. "But it's never too late to turn things around, and I hope to do so this year.
"Sometimes I think to myself about what might have happened had I done some things differently, but then you waste more time thinking about what could have been. It really does upset me that I was not able to make adjustments like I know I should have and played the way I can."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.