Rays right-hander Zack Burdi has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Durham, per a team announcement. Burdi had been designated for assignment earlier this week in order to open up a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Chase Anderson.
A first round pick by the White Sox in the 2016 draft, the 28-year-old Burdi has long had a premium fastball in terms of both velocity and spin rate, but has struggled to translate it into success at the big league level due to control issues. While his 9.3% walk rate in 20 1/3 career innings in the majors has been passable, Burdi’s posted a walk rate of nearly 15% in 150 innings at the minor league level. Further, even though his walks have been under control in his small sample at the major league level, his results have still been less than spectacular, with a career 6.64 ERA in the majors.
Still, an optionable right-hander with stuff as tantalizing as Burdi is sure to pique the interest of teams, making it something of a surprise that Burdi passed through waivers successfully. Burdi has less than three years of MLB service time and has not been outrighted before in his career, meaning he does not have the right to reject his outright assignment. That leaves him poised to be upper-level relief depth for the Rays in the minor leagues going forward this season alongside the likes of Trevor Kelley and Calvin Faucher.