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.