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Former batting champion Anderson, Marlins finalize $5M, one-year contract

Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox Tim Anderson - The Canadian Press

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Former AL batting champion Tim Anderson and the Miami Marlins finalized a $5 million, one-year contract on Saturday.

Anderson became Miami’s first big free agent addition of the offseason. The Chicago White Sox declined a $14 million option in November, ending a $25 million, six-year contract for the two-time All-Star.

“I'm just excited," Anderson told reporters Saturday. “I'm excited to see what the future holds.”

The 30-year-old had spent all eight of his major league seasons with the White Sox. After leading the majors with a .335 average in 2019, Anderson hit .245 last year, the second-lowest of his big league career, ahead of his .240 average in 2018.

Anderson had just one home run and 25 RBIs over 123 games for Chicago last season. His RBIs matched his total in 2022, when he played in just 79 games because of injuries. He dealt with a sprained left knee and right shoulder soreness last season.

While speaking to reporters Saturday, Anderson acknowledged his knee issue took a toll on him last year.

“I had nothing to hit up against,” Anderson said. “That led to a lot of ground balls. No excuses. I kept working. I feel good today. I feel healthy. I’m ready to go and I’m excited.”

Marlins manager Skip Schumaker believes those 2023 struggles should give Anderson even more incentive this year.

“I’ve said it before, anybody that’s motivated is dangerous at this level,” Schumacher said. “I’m not sure there’s many guys more motivated than that kid.”

Anderson brings a fiery temper to his new team.

In August, he and Cleveland’s José Ramírez threw punches that led to a benches-clearing brawl and suspensions. Anderson, who took a hit to the jaw in the fracas, had his penalty reduced from six to five games under a settlement with Major League Baseball.

He had kept his tag on Ramírez’s back as he stood over and straddled him. Ramírez seemed irritated and, after getting up, he pointed his finger in Anderson’s face and yelled. They then fought.

Anderson took off his glove and threw the first punch and then another that missed before Ramírez countered to the Chicago star’s jaw, dazing him and knocking him on his rear end on the infield dirt.

In April 2019, he was suspended one game for a confrontation with Royals pitcher Brad Keller. Anderson flipped his bat after hitting a home run off Keller, then was hit on the buttocks by a Keller pitch in his next plate appearance. Keller was suspended for five games.

Also Saturday, Marlins right-handed pitcher Sandy Alcantara was placed on the 60-day injured list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in October.