The Marlins announced that reliever Enrique Burgos has signed a minor league contract with a non-roster Spring Training invitation. The 32-year-old makes it back to the affiliated ranks for the first time since he was released by the Tigers in March 2018.
Burgos, a Panama native, has some previous MLB experience. He was a frequent middle relief option for the Diamondbacks from 2015-16, combining for 73 appearances. Through 68 1/3 innings, the righty posted a 5.27 ERA with a strong 27.4% strikeout rate offset by a 12.7% walk percentage. While Burgos averaged north of 96 MPH on his fastball and missed plenty of bats, his inconsistent control and an elevated .339 batting average on balls in play pushed him off the roster.
A brief stint in the Atlanta organization was spent entirely at Triple-A in 2017. After failing to crack the Detroit roster out of spring camp the following season, Burgos has worked mostly in the Mexican League and winter ball over the past few years (along with a brief stay in the Atlantic League). He struck out 17 against five walks through 15 innings in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, apparently piquing the interest of Marlins’ scouts in the process.
Miami has mostly stood pat with its bullpen this winter. Cole Sulser was lost on waivers to Arizona, while JT Chargois was brought in from the Rays. Rule 5 selection Nic Enright will have to hold a spot or be placed on waivers and subsequently sent back to the Guardians. Dylan Floro, Tanner Scott, Steven Okert and Richard Bleier should have season-opening spots secured. Tommy Nance, Andrew Nardi, Eli Villalobos and Huascar Brazobán could battle for middle relief spots.
Burgos joins Chi Chi González, Geoff Hartlieb and Bryan Hoeing as non-roster invitees with some big league time. Given his lack of recent affiliated experience, the 32-year-old Burgos figures to open the season at Triple-A Jacksonville and will try to earn an MLB call during the season.