Marlins officially sign Tim Anderson as he begins quest to make 2024 his comeback season

Do call it a comeback.

Now officially signed with the club, Tim Anderson took some swings in the batting cages and later sat in the Miami Marlins’ dugout at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

He didn’t play in the team’s spring opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.

He didn’t even have his preferred No. 7 on his jersey since new teammate Jesus Sanchez currently has that number.

But Saturday was Day 1 of what Anderson, a former batting champion and All-Star, hopes is a fresh start that will revive his major league career.

“I think everybody knows what I’m up against this year,” Anderson said. “I’m just trying to get back to myself and if I do, sky’s the limit.”

A healthy and productive Anderson would be huge for a Marlins’ squad aiming to make playoff appearances in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history.

How Anderson signing impacts roster construction. And Marlins to watch as spring games start

The Marlins signed Anderson to a one-year, $5 million contract and transferred Sandy Alcantara to the 60-day injured list.

“I’m just thankful to be in a situation where I can help the team have success and being around guys that are in this lineup that are great hitters and a great staff,” Anderson said. “I’m excited for what the future holds.”

If Anderson rounds back into the old form that made him a two-time All-Star in 2021 and 2022 or close, it gives the Marlins a proven full-time option they were lacking at shortstop.

The Marlins entered spring training with Jon Berti, Vidal Brujan, Xavier Edwards, prospect Jacob Amaya and non-roster invitee Tristan Gray as the most likely candidates to get playing time at the position.

Miami Marlins improve shortstop position by signing Tim Anderson to one-year deal

“We honestly felt pretty good about the shortstops we had in house, but it was still something that we were going to try to look to upgrade,” Marlins president of baseball operations Peter Bendix said. “There were a lot of conversations that happened, free agent conversations, trade conversations. A lot of conversations happened that didn’t lead to a deal until this point and patience pays off.”

Anderson, 30, won the American League batting title in 2019 with a .335 batting average and had a 4.2 WAR. He also won a Silver Slugger award after the 2020 COVID-shortened season after hitting .322 and leading the AL in runs scored. He still managed to hit .309 despite being limited to only 79 games in 2022 due to injuries.

But last season, Anderson hit just .245 (his worst in a season since 2018) with a career-low .582 on-base-plus-slugging mark and just one home run and 25 RBI in 123 games played while dealing with various injuries.

“It took a toll,” Anderson said. “But no excuses. I kept working and I feel good today and I’m excited.”

Shortstop Tim Anderson speaks to reporters on his first official day taking part in spring training with the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Andre Fernandez/
Shortstop Tim Anderson speaks to reporters on his first official day taking part in spring training with the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Andre Fernandez/

While durability remains a concern, the potential for Anderson forming a potent tandem with hitters like Luis Arraez at the top of the Marlins’ lineup enticed the club.

“He’s a dynamic type of player on both sides of the ball,” Bendix said. “Really good defender, does a lot of things well, steals bases. He had a tough year last year but he’s not very far removed from being a really good player.”

Anderson, a former first-round pick of the White Sox in 2013, said for him having something to prove isn’t anything new since he first broke through to the majors in 2016.

“It’s been that way since I stepped in the league,” Anderson said. “If I couldn’t play shortstop or I couldn’t hit. So it’s always been that. I wanted to be in a situation where I could be great. I wanted to go somewhere that wanted me and the Marlins wanted me so I’m excited to be here.”

Anderson’s signing was the first free agent signing the Marlins made after a quiet offseason on that front.

Marlins adding depth at shortstop with Anderson, but Berti remains a reliable option

Bendix didn’t indicate the team was done looking around for any other potential additions this spring.

“Never say never,” Bendix said. “We’re always having conversations right? Sometimes these conversations lead to us signing players. Sometimes they’re going to lead to trades. It’s my job to always have those conversations.”


An offensive standout in the Marlins’ first spring game, a 9-8 win over the Cardinals: Bryan De La Cruz. The outfielder, who led the Marlins with 78 RBI and had a career-high 19 home runs last season, hit a pair of doubles and drove in four runs on Saturday.

The first double hit off the wall in left field to score Josh Bell in the first inning. The second came on a first-pitch slider to right-center field with the bases loaded in the second inning. De La Cruz also did his part defensively in left field, making a sliding grab in the bottom of the second inning on a Willson Contreras line drive and starting a relay throw later in the inning that resulted in Alec Burleson being tagged out at home. De La Cruz said improving his defense was an emphasis this offseason.

Ryan Weathers started Saturday’s game and pitched two innings. He threw 38 pitches (20 for strikes) and allowed three hits, two earned runs, one walk and had one strikeout.

Marlins right-handed relief pitcher JT Chargois did not throw his scheduled live batting practice session on Friday due to neck spasms, manager Skip Schumaker said. Chargois will be re-evaluated and the hope is he’ll throw in a couple days.