Marlins DFA former AL batting champion Tim Anderson after disastrous first half

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JUNE 24: Tim Anderson of the Miami Marlins at bat against the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 24, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images)
The Marlins have reportedly designated shortstop Tim Anderson for assignment. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins are moving on from shortstop Tim Anderson. The team announced Tuesday that he was designated for assignment after a disappointing first half, leaving him without a team.

Anderson, who is just 31, hit .214/.237/.226 for the Marlins over 65 games, making nine errors at shortstop. He had hoped to rebuild his value when he signed with the Marlins on a one-year, $5 million deal in February, but instead, he continued his fall — a tremendous one for a player who had numbers that could have earned him a massive contract extension less than two years ago.

Drafted by the Chicago White Sox with the 17th pick in 2013, Anderson had a career .288/.316/.442 slash line through 2022 and was the 2019 American League batting champion. He also made two All-Star appearances and won a Silver Slugger.

But Anderson's 2023 wasn't up to par with his previous career marks. He ended the season with an uncharacteristic .245/.286/.296 batting line, and the White Sox declined his $14 million option. He landed with the Marlins, but they're now also in Anderson's rearview.

What precipitated Anderson's massive drop-off in 2023, which eventually led to his being DFA'd on July 2? It might all go back to a knee injury he sustained early in the 2023 season.

Anderson sprained his MCL on April 10, 2023, just 11 games into the season. He'd gotten off to a hot start, but that did not continue after he came back. After he returned on May 2, he was not the Tim Anderson who had been there before, and he hit just .238 over the rest of the season.

At the end of the 2023 season, Anderson told writer Scott Merkin that the MCL injury changed his body mechanics, especially his front leg (the one he steps with when he takes a swing), where the injury was. Anderson said he struggled to get himself comfortable at the plate for the rest of the season and hasn't been the same since.

If Anderson can fix what ails him, there's a chance he could be back in the majors at some point. But without some serious change, his major-league career might be at an end.