Sean Burnett Rumors
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney notes that while the market for right-handed relief pitching is bountiful, the market for lefties is pretty thin. The Nationals will talk about Sean Burnett but the Cubs will not discuss Sean Marshall, though one southpaw to keep an eye on is Randy Choate. Olney says the Yankees have already asked the Marlins about his availability.
Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- The Padres are unlikely to trade Heath Bell to the Diamondbacks even though the latter would love to have him. Padres owner Jeff Moorad used to run the D'Backs.
- "The key guys this time of year really aren't the general managers," said one GM. "The owners are the key guys. Because they'll decide whether to add payroll, and when to raise the white flag on the season."
- Jason Isringhausen of the Mets is "destined to draw a whole lot interest" because he's cheap and experienced. A handful of GMs feel that a Francisco Rodriguez trade is "all but impossible" because of his vesting option.
- Teams have received their preliminary 2012 schedule, and the chances of realignment dwindle with each passing day.
- Labor negotiations are progressing as scheduled, though recent buzz that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement could be announced at the All-Star Game has been dismissed.
The latest from New York, where Derek Jeter will attempt to reach the 3,000 hit plateau against the Rays tonight. The Yankees' captain is two hits away from reaching the milestone...
- Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez met with Scott Boras and two of the agent’s associates both before and after yesterday’s game against the Dodgers, according to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Other agents have also contacted Rodriguez, who is currently represented by Paul Kinzer of Wasserman Media Group, as MLBTR’s Agency Database shows.
- Kinzer called Rodriguez's meetings with Boras "a sad part of the business," according to Costa (Twitter link).
- Rodriguez will not become a free agent if he completes 55 games and his $17.5MM option for 2012 vests. Otherwise, he’ll receive a $3.5MM buyout and hit the open market this offseason.
- The Yankees appear to have interest in Sean Burnett, but ESPN.com's Buster Olney cautions that the Yankees were simply doing their regular scouting when they saw the Nationals left-hander pitch recently (Twitter link).
- The Mets signed tenth round pick Matthew Budgell, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). Jim Callis of Baseball America notes that the high schooler obtained an over-slot bonus of $225K (Twitter link).
Though some teams are still in the process of deciding whether to buy, sell or hold, others are developing a clear sense of what moves they intend to make this month. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has the latest on the trade deadline, which is just over three weeks away...
- The Braves, who have limited payroll flexibility, aren’t sure if they’re going to upgrade their offense, but they could pursue a right-handed hitting outfielder. Atlanta could probably afford an outfielder like Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham or Michael Cuddyer if they also obtained cash to cover the player’s salary (though that would likely mean giving up better prospects in the trade).
- The Phillies may end up pursuing some of the same right-handed hitters as the Braves. Philadelphia is also exploring trades for relievers now that Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson are on the disabled list.
- The Yankees would like to acquire a top-of-the-rotation lefty, but they’re more likely to add a left-handed reliever. New York’s preference is for a southpaw who can retire right-handed hitters as well as lefties. The Yankees are targeting a number of left-handers, including Sean Burnett of the Nationals, who is not yet available.
- The Royals will listen to offers for all of their players, but rival executives tell Rosenthal that Joakim Soria is likely staying put, since the asking price for him is high.
- Yankees catcher Jesus Montero has limited appeal to the Royals, since they doubt he’ll be able to stay behind the plate long-term.
- The Royals expect to compete from 2012-14.
The Yankees have expressed interest in Nationals lefty reliever Sean Burnett, though the two clubs have not yet had any discussions according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter links). Craig Heist of WTOP 103.5 FM in Washington originally reported the rumor. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that the Yankees have discussed Burnett internally, but Washington has not yet made him available (on Twitter).
New York has been looking for left-handed bullpen help basically all season, since they learned that free agent signing Pedro Feliciano would miss considerable time with a shoulder injury. Burnett, 28, has an ugly 5.59 ERA in 29 innings this year, but he's held lefties to a .224/.304/.347 batting line against. He is under contract next year ($2.3MM) with a club option ($3.5MM) for 2013 ($250K buyout).
The Nationals have officially signed Sean Burnett to a two-year extension. The $3.95MM contract, which was first reported by Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, covers Burnett's final two seasons of arbitration eligibility and includes a mutual option for 2013. Agent Jim Munsey represents the left-hander.
The 28-year-old became a key reliever for Nationals manager Jim Riggleman in 2010, his first full season in Washington. Burnett, a product of the deal that sent Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge to Pittsburgh, posted a 2.14 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 63 innings last year. The former first rounder limited hits and homers and induced lots of ground balls (54.3% ground ball rate) as usual.
Burnett will earn $1.4MM, including a $100K bonus, in 2011 and $2.3MM in 2012. The mutual option covers Burnett's first free agent year and would pay him $3.5MM or a $250K buyout. The Nationals won their arbitration case with Burnett last offseason (775K vs. 925K), which presumably saved them money on this extension.
The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Matt Garza or Zack Greinke, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. However, Kilgore’s source doesn’t expect Washington to trade for either pitcher. Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported that Royals GM Dayton Moore is actively gauging the market for Greinke.
The Rays and Royals could have interest in Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, but the Nationals are not likely to move either player. However, Kilgore hears that the team would move Danny Espinosa “in a heartbeat.” Roger Bernadina would be available and it’s possible that the Nationals would consider trading Drew Storen or Sean Burnett, according to Kilgore.
On June 30th, 2009, the Pirates traded reliever Sean Burnett and outfielder Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals for reliever Joel Hanrahan and outfielder Lastings Milledge. With exactly one year in the books, which side is ahead?
Hanrahan has tossed 63 innings for the Pirates with a 3.00 ERA, 11.9 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, and 0.43 HR/9. He's totaled 1.0 WAR for the Pirates. His fastball velocity has increased since the trade, to the point where he's averaging 95.4 mph this year. Hanrahan will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season, and he's under team control through 2013. He's part of a strong late-game relief trio in Pittsburgh, along with Evan Meek and Octavio Dotel.
Milledge is hitting .281/.339/.384 in 490 plate appearances for the Pirates. He's played 928 innings in left field, but has moved to right field since Jose Tabata's promotion. He's totaled 1.2 WAR for the Pirates. Like Hanrahan, Milledge is arbitration-eligible for the first time in 2011 and under control through 2013.
For the Nationals, lefty reliever Sean Burnett has a 2.96 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, and 0.70 HR/9 in 51.6 innings. He's totaled 0.4 WAR for the Nats. That value came entirely from 2010, as he's increased his K/9 to 8.1. He's earning $775K this year after losing an arbitration hearing in February. Burnett is under team control through 2012.
Morgan is hitting .291/.345/.368 in 530 plate appearances with 41 stolen bases in 59 attempts for the Nationals since the trade. His 2.7 WAR comes entirely from 2009, as he's actually had negative value in 2010. Morgan's '09 season ended in late August with a broken wrist. It's been a rough 2010 season offensively, and Morgan leads the league with 11 times caught stealing. Morgan has tallied 1,000 innings in center field in his time with Washington. After the season it appears that he'll miss the Super Two cutoff by a few days, meaning he will not be arbitration-eligible until after the 2011 season. Morgan is under team control through 2014.
I'd rather have Hanrahan than Burnett at this point, and the Pirates' reliever is under team control for an extra season. Morgan's last two months have been discouraging, but he might be better than Milledge defensively and is under control for an extra year. While the Nationals are ahead 0.9 in WAR, this challenge trade remains something of a toss-up a year later.
The Nationals won their arbitration case against lefty reliever Sean Burnett, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. He'll earn $775K as opposed to $925K in his first arbitration year. By beating Burnett and Brian Bruney this week, the Nats saved $500K.
Talking to Ladson, Burnett had this to say about the hearing: "It was interesting. I learned a lesson. I don't want to deal with it again."