Cubs add free-agent lefty Anderson

Veteran, who's dealt with injuries, provides depth

Cubs add free-agent lefty Anderson

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' goal this offseason was to add pitching depth, and on Thursday, they acquired another arm, signing free-agent lefty Brett Anderson to a one-year contract.

Anderson, who was limited to four games last season after undergoing back surgery, reportedly impressed the Cubs with a bullpen session in Arizona. He underwent a physical exam this week in Chicago, and changed his Twitter profile on Tuesday to include a photo of himself wearing a Cubs cap, standing next to actor, comedian and Cubs fan Bill Murray.

According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the deal is for $3.5 million and has incentives that could boost the total to $10 million.

With the addition of Anderson, the Cubs' 40-man roster is now at 40.

The lefty, who turns 29 on Feb. 1, had back surgery last March and came off the disabled list in mid-August, appearing in four games (three starts) with the Dodgers. But he was then sidelined because of a blister on his left hand and missed another month.

In his career, Anderson has appeared in 127 games (115 starts) and compiled a 3.86 ERA over eight seasons with the Athletics, Rockies and Dodgers.

Montgomery may stay in bullpen

Chicago heads into the 2017 season with Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey and Mike Montgomery projected as the starters. Anderson would give the Cubs insurance, with Montgomery possibly sliding back to the bullpen. The Cubs were in discussions with free-agent pitcher Tyson Ross this offseason, but he signed with the Rangers.

Anderson's health is the issue. He has made 30 starts twice (2009 and '15), has been sidelined by Tommy John surgery in June 2011 and missed time over his career because of a strained right oblique, stress fracture in his right foot and a broken left index finger.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.