By Jeff Louderback
While the Red Sox recently made a transaction – inking 29-year-old left-hander Matt Maloney to a minor league deal – former top prospect Lars Anderson was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox to make room for Conor Gillaspie on the Pale Hose 40-man roster.
Anderson, who is still just 25 and has upside as a left-handed hitting first baseman who can also play left field, has unwittingly embarked on quite the baseball odyssey over the last seven months.
Last July 31, Boston traded him to Cleveland for knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is reminiscent of R.A. Dickey and has a chance to help the Major League club at some point this season. On December 1, Anderson was shipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the three-team deal that sent top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer to the desert. In late January, Anderson was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks after the club landed a haul of players in the Justin Upton trade.
The White Sox picked him up but now have designated him for assignment after adding the 25-year-old Gillaspie, a 2008 supplemental first rounder of the San Francisco Giants out of Wichita State University. Gillaspie is a left-handed hitting third baseman.
With the recent acquisition of Mike Carp, the Red Sox are no longer in need of a left-handed hitter who plays first base and left field. The Milwaukee Brewers, who are rumored to be a potential destination for Lyle Overbay if the veteran does not win a spot on Boston’s opening day roster, could bring in Anderson.
Anderson’s recent plight is similar to other minor leaguers Russ Canzler and Sandy Rosario, who have been DFAd multiple times the last few months.
As for Maloney, he is a former high draft pick. A third round pick by the Philadelphia Phillies out of the University of Mississippi in 2005, Maloney is 5-9 with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 31 games (including 11 starts) over parts of four Major League seasons with Cincinnati and Minnesota. He will compete for a spot on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster.