Jared Burton Rumors

AL Central Notes: Aviles, Soria, Burton

As the Royals look to even the score in the World Series against the Giants, other teams in the division are shifting their focus to the offseason. Here are a few notes from the AL Central…

  • The Indians are expected to exercise their $3.5MM club option on Mike Aviles rather than pay him a $250K buyout, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Indians could have reasonably gone either way, as the team has some limited financial flexibility (a topic I highlighted in yesterday’s Offseason Outlook). It appears that his versatility will earn him a spot on the 2015 club. The 33-year-old batted .247/.273/.343 in 374 plate appearances with Cleveland last year.
  • MLB.com’s Jason Beck spoke with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, and while the GM didn’t specifically say that the team would exercise its $7MM club option on Joakim Soria, he certainly implied as much with his comments: “We still have to make the final decision, but it’s a situation where we look at him as being an important acquisition toward this [coming] year also.” Dombrowski said that the team views Joe Nathan as its closer next season, though he indicated that Nathan will have to perform up to his previous capabilities in order to hold onto that role.
  • The Twins declined their $3.6MM option on Jared Burton earlier today, and Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that the team hasn’t expressed an interest in bringing the 33-year-old back, even at a lower rate.

Twins Decline Jared Burton’s Option

The Twins have declined their $3.6MM club option on right-hander Jared Burton, director of communications Dustin Morse announced (on Twitter). Burton will receive a $200K buyout and hit the open market this winter.

Burton, 33, came to the Twins prior to the 2012 season on a minor league deal after shoulder surgery had temporarily derailed his career with Cincinnati. (The return of former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky to the Minnesota front office may have had something to do with the team’s interest.) Burton proved to be an excellent find for the Twins in 2012, as he pitched to a 2.18 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 over 62 innings in in his first year with the team. That performance netted him a two-year, $5.45MM extension, which included this option.

Burton’s performance has tailed off over the past two seasons, though he was still solid in 2013, compiling a 3.82 ERA (3.61 FIP) with 8.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 66 innings. This season, he got off to a dreadful start to his 2014 campaign, but he did recover to post a 3.41 ERA over his final four months, with the end result being a 4.36 mark.

Overall, Burton spent three seasons with the Twins, totaling a 3.47 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 10 saves in 203 appearances (192 innings).


Quick Hits: Delgado, Top Prospects, Byrd, Relievers

The Blue Jays will add Carlos Delgado to the Level of Excellence at the Rogers Centre this weekend — an honor bestowed upon the greatest Jays in franchise history. Delgado spent a dozen seasons with the Jays, hitting .282/.392/.556 with 336 homers in 6,018 plate appearances. He will join Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Tony Fernandez, George Bell and Dave Stieb as players to receive the distinction. Here's more from around the league…

  • ESPN's Keith Law unveiled the latest edition of his Top 50 prospects (ESPN Insider required and recommended), and it's fronted by Twins Class A Advanced center fielder Byron Buxton, though Law cautions that even he is a little uncomfortable with the amount of hype Buxton is receiving. Oscar Taveras, Xander Bogaerts, Miguel Sano and Francisco Lindor round out Law's Top 5.
  • The Mets will need to be "overwhelmed" to trade Marlon Byrd, writes Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star Ledger. "Overwhelmed," of course, is a relative term, and manager Terry Collins states things more lightly later in the article: "Right now, Marlon Byrd’s a huge piece. If Marlon Byrd’s going to get moved, we’re going to get something good back." Castillo's article meshes with previous reports that the Mets may simply stand pat at the deadline.
  • A team official tells Mike Puma of the New York Post that the Mets haven't had any action yet on Byrd or closer Bobby Parnell (Twitter link).
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden examines the trade market for relievers (video link), naming all of the usual suspects that have been mentioned previously but also adding Jared Burton, Huston Street and Luke Gregerson, who haven't been mentioned often this summer. All three are controlled beyond 2013. Bowden's colleague Buster Olney tweeted earlier today that the Diamondbacks continue to be players on the relief pitching market.
  • Uncertainty surrounding Clay Buchholz's injuries hasn't changed Boston's approach to the trade deadline, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox still plan to be "selective" as they debate possibilities to upgrade what they consider to be strong rotation depth. The team is also still interested in upgrades at third base and in the bullpen.


Twins To Extend Jared Burton

The Twins locked up one of their best relievers today, signing Jared Burton to a two-year, $5.5MM extension with a $3.6MM club option for 2015.  Burton would have been entering a walk year in 2013, so the contract buys out one free agent year with an option for another.  He's represented by Dave Pepe of Pro Agents, Inc.

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Burton, 31, inked a minor league deal with the Twins last November and made the big league roster after a strong showing in Spring Training.  The right-hander had a breakout season with the Twins in 2012,  posting a 2.18 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, and 48.5% groundball rate in 62 innings of work.  MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected a $2.1MM salary for Burton's last trip through arbitration in 2013, so his actual $2.05MM salary isn't much of a discount.  But the Twins now have Burton potentially through 2015, as well as reliever Glen Perkins possibly through 2016 from an extension signed in March.   

As MLBTR's arbitration tracker shows, the Twins' class is down to just Drew Butera and Brian Duensing.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN first reported the extension was close. Tim Dierkes contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Twins Rumors: McCarthy, Blanton, Dempster, Myers

Here's the latest on the Twins from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN

  • So far, the Twins have reached out to free agents Brandon McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez, Joe Blanton, Ryan Dempster, and Brett Myers. They're interested in Myers as a starter. They've also reached out to Brandon Webb even though he hasn't thrown a pitch in the big leagues since 2009.
  • The club continues to have regular conversations with Alan Nero, who represents right-hander Scott Baker. The two sides are working on a new contract after Baker's $9.25MM option was declined.
  • The Twins have not shown any interest in Jon Garland and were not present when the right-hander threw for teams during an audition back in September.
  • Talks with reliever Jared Burton about a contract extension are underway. Matt Swartz projects a $2.1MM salary for the right-hander next season, after which he'll become a free agent.
  • The Twins have inquired about reliever Randy Messenger, though the Hanshin Tigers in Japan will not allow the right-hander out of his contract.
  • The team has not contacted Bill Bray after he hit free agency. Special assistant Wayne Krivsky acquired the left-hander during his tenure as Reds GM.

Rangers, Twins Discussing Jared Burton

The Rangers and Twins are discussing a possible trade involving right-handed reliever Jared Burton, Yahoo's Tim Brown reports (on Twitter). The Rangers are known to be considering additions to their bullpen. 

Burton, 31, has a 2.40 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 41 1/3 innings for the Twins this year. He's earning a salary of $750K and will go to arbitration this coming offseason before hitting free agency after 2013.


Central Notes: Gimenez, Young Twins, Cardinals

Passing along a few notes from the Central divisions, where there was plenty of news earlier today. Kosuke Fukudome found a new home, the Brewers won an arbitration case, and the Royals picked up their manager's option. On with the links …


Minor Moves: Wood, Burton, Gonzalez, Buchholz

Moves listed here without specific attribution come from MLB.com's transactions page

  • The Rockies have signed infielder Brandon Wood, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Wood will make $100K over the league minimum if he makes the big league roster, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). Wood, of course, was once a blue-chip prospect with the Angels.
  • The Twins have signed right-handers Brendan Wise, Jared Burton, Samuel Deduno and Luis Perdomo, and outfielders Matt Carson and Wilkin Ramirez to Minor League deals, tweets Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.
  • The Padres released second baseman Alberto Gonzalez. San Diego appears to be clearing 40-man roster space in anticipation of next month's Rule 5 draft. 
  • Right-hander Taylor Buchholz elected free agency. The Mets removed Buchholz from their 40-man roster earlier in the week. He would have earned roughly $1.2MM in 2012 had the Mets retained him through arbitration. Earlier in the week GM Sandy Alderson was unsure if anxiety and depression would prevent Buchholz from pitching in 2012.
  • The Angels released right-hander Anthony Ortega.

Minor Moves: Jared Burton, Wilmin Rodriguez

The latest minor moves…

  • The Twins signed right-hander Jared Burton to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger (Twitter link).  Burton, 30, has a 3.41 ERA in 164 appearances with the Reds over the last five seasons, recording 143 strikeouts in 169 Major League innings.
  • The Giants re-signed left-hander Wilmin Rodriguez to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 26-year-old reliever posted a 4.34 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 64 1/3 innings in the upper minors of San Francisco's system in 2011.

Minor Moves: Burton, Reyes, Wood

Today's minor moves…

  • Jared Burton elected free agency, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon (on Twitter).  The 30-year-old right-hander showed promise out of the 'pen in 2007-08, but has appeared in just ten MLB games since 2010. He spent time on the 60-day DL with shoulder inflammation in 2011.
  • The Padres signed 16-year-old outfielder Franmil Reyes out of the Dominican Republic for $700K, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock.  Baseball America's Ben Badler has more on Reyes.
  • The Pirates announced they've signed reliever Tim Wood to a minor league deal.  The 28-year-old had eight big league innings for the Bucs this year, and posted a 3.49 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, and 24 saves in 49 Triple-A relief innings for the Pirates and Rangers.