Nov. 9: Burdi has rejected his outright assignment in favor of free agency, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic tweets. It’s still possible that he could return to the club on a new minor league deal, of course, but he’ll have the option of speaking with other clubs as he goes through the early stages of his rehab process.
Nov. 7: The Pirates have outrighted right-hander Nick Burdi to Triple-A, according to the MLB.com transactions page. In another move for the Bucs earlier this week, right-hander Dovydas Neverauskas was released. Both pitchers were recently designated for assignment.
Burdi will remain in the organization as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in October. The 27-year-old will miss the entire 2021 season, the latest major injury setback in a career that has already seen Burdi undergo a previous TJ procedure as well as a thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. Burdi has just 12 1/3 career MLB innings to his name, including 2 1/3 frames of work with Pittsburgh in 2020.
Neverauskas’ release could pave the way for a contract with a team in Asia, as Pirates GM Ben Cherington hinted last Monday. Originally signed by the Pirates way back in 2009, Neverauskas is still pretty young (turning 28 in January) as he moves into this potential new phase of his pro career. Over 80 2/3 career Major League innings, Neverauskas posted a 6.81 ERA, 2.20 K/BB, 8.6 K/9, and an ugly 2.2 HR/9.