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  • What Would You Do? Jared Burton


    On Sunday night, it was Glen Perkins who got the final three outs in the tenth inning to record the save in game two of a double-header sweep of the Detroit Tigers in Comerica Park. However, with a tied score in the bottom of the ninth, Jared Burton came into the game to face the Tigers 3, 4 and 5 hitters. Burton got MVP-candidate Miguel Cabrera to pop out for the first out. He then made Prince Fielder look silly, striking him out. Finally, he got Delmon Young to ground out.

    The Twins responded to Burtonís dynamic performance with a run in the top of the tenth frame. Glen Perkins came in for the bottom of the 10th inning and recorded the save. Just another reminder that the guy who comes in for the gameís toughest situations in the 7th or 8th innings are equally, if not more, valuable than the closer.

    Since Glen Perkins took over the closerís role and is often pitching in less difficult situations, it has been a great opportunity for Burton to step up and really show how good he came be.

    Should the Twins consider locking up Jared Burton to a long-term, multi-year contract?

    In the past, the Twins have had mixed results with giving out long-term contracts to guys, buying out their free agent years. Johan Santana, Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter all signed multi-year deals to buy out some free agent time. The Denard Span long-term deal has been generally very well worth it. Sure, the Nick Blackburn deal wasnít very good, but those happen. The Twins signed Jesse Crain to a three year deal, but it actually bought out two of his arbitration seasons.

    Burton signed with the Twins last November. After spending the past five seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. Special assistant Wayne Krivsky likely was very involved in that transaction.

    With about a week left in the season, Burton is 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. He has allowed just 5.9 hits per nine innings. He has given up just four home runs in 58.1 innings. Considering he gave up two homers in his first Twins outing of the season, he has been remarkable. One question with him when signed b the Twins was his control. His 2.2 walks per nine innings this year is by far better than the 3.5 walks per nine innings he had in 2009, his previous career-best. His 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings matches his career number in that category.

    Left-handed batters are hitting just .228 against him with a .702 OPS. Meanwhile, right-handed bats are hitting just .155 with a .428 OPS against him.

    2012 has been a career-year for Jared Burton, but it isnít as if it came completely out of nowhere. From the time he came up with the Reds in 2007 through 2009, he was very effective in late-inning situations for the Reds. He just missed so much time the past two seasons with injury.

    Itís hard to find perfect comparables to Burton who have been arbitration-eligible the last couple of years. Last year, Mike Adams was at the same arbitration-level of just over five years, and he got $4.4 million. The other relievers who signed via arbitration last offseason got between $1.05 and $1.2 million. I really believe that in arbitration, Burton would get a deal worth between $1.75 million and $2 million for 2013.

    Is Burton an injury risk? He had no injury problems in 2012, and with one more inning, heíll match a career high. The Twins have taken care of him very well this year. In the first half, he did not pitch in back-to-back games. In the seasonís first half, he pitched 35.1 innings. In the second half, he is at 23 innings. Through another full offseason, Burton should be at 100% going into spring training 2013.

    Here is what I would propose for a long-term deal for Jared Burton. I would want it to line up similarly to the deals that Jesse Crain got AFTER his three year deal. In his final arbitration year, he made $1.7 million. The Twins should feel good about the price theyíll pay in the following seasons. There is risk with Burton as he does have an injury past and he is 31 years old. Because of that, he should (or at least could) be willing to accept a little less per year for some long-term security. (At the same time, he may want to risk having another healthy, dominant season and finding out how he can do in free agency.)

    I would offer him $1.7 million in 2013, $2.2 million in 2014, and $2.5 million in 2015 with an option for $3 million in 2016 with a $100,000 buyout. All told, thatís a three year, $6.5 million with that fourth-year option. They could even do like they did with the Glen Perkins extension and add some incentives based on Games Completed.

    What do you think? First, would you explore a long-term contract with Jared Burton. Second, Iíve proposed 3 years and $6.5 million. What would your reaction be if you heard the Twins made the transaction?
    This article was originally published in blog: What Would You Do? Jared Burton started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. SpantheMan's Avatar
      SpantheMan -
      I would be thrilled I the twins made that deal. The first year is basically what you pay for him in arbitration. If he has another decent year, he would get much more than 2/5 in free agency. If he's bad or hurt, you only pay 5m for 2 years of average relief (if hes bad) or 1 year of probably pretty good relief (if he's hurt). Then you also have an option.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      What Burton did this year bears no resemblance to what Blackburn did to earn his contract.
      I would think that Burton would not get closer money in free agency if he is the set up guy next year. As top set up men in free agency are getting 4 million the final year of his contract would have to be closer to that number. If it is a three year deal with a 4th year option it would be closer to a 2, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and a healthier option amount.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      I don't believe in signing relievers unless they post multiple above average seasons. If the Twins pursue a two or three year deal after Burton has a stellar 2013 season, I'm all for it. But right now, it's an unnecessary risk.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      The difference, of course, if that if they wait until after the 2013 season, he is a free agent and it will most likely cost significantly more at that time.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      The difference, of course, if that if they wait until after the 2013 season, he is a free agent and it will most likely cost significantly more at that time.
      Ah, I thought he had two years of control.

      I'd probably try to do a midseason deal if he performs again.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Sign him for 2 years at the 4-5 million mark. Worst case scenerio, he goes back to his injury woes and you are out 2 mil a year. This is a low risk/high reward type deal for a very good reliever. How much money did we give Pavano and Capps to sit on the DL for 120 games?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I would go with a two year deal for around $4.5 million ($1.75/2.75). By 2015, if the Twins still need Jared Burton, then there will have been a breakdown with a whole number of relief prospects, so let's just hope there is no need for that.
    1. Rick Blaine's Avatar
      Rick Blaine -
      I would try to sign him for two years at the 4 million mark and let Capps walk.
    1. dklien's Avatar
      dklien -
      I would not be in favor of signing Burton to an extension unless the Twins think it would help his trade value (I am not sure if it would or not). Relievers are one position that is relatively easy to fill. Both Burton and Fien were aquired for nothing this year. To me it doesn't make sense to tie up money for an excellent set up reliever when 90+ games a year the Twins are losing in the eighth inning. I really believe it is time to trade off any assets the Twins have and start over.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      I'd be ok with 3 years/6 million because the risk is pretty low, I wouldn't really go over that though. Giving extensions to non great RP are a bit risky.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      For those of you thinking that Burton will give up free agency for 2 million consider Jon Rauch got 3.5 from the Mets. Another good year and he could get a 3/13 deal like Crain or a 3/12 like Guerrier. Do you really think that Burton will give up the chance for that kind of money for 2 million? Do you really think an athlete thinks "What if I get injured?"
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      He will also be 32 entering free agent and coming off another year as a bullpen set-up guy. He would, if successful in 2013, get monies along the lines of Crain or Guerrier, if luck....$3-4 million a year. He isn't tradable if signed to a long-term contract and flops in 2013...another team will just wait to see if he is released before giving him a chance and the Twins would always be on hook for most of the contract. Tough decision. If the Twins can sign him for 2 with a third-year option vs. buyout, I'd go for it.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      No reason for this until the rotation and infield are fixed. Maybe he's had a good year but he also just missed most of 2 seasons with arm problems.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      The GM/Front Office can work on more than one or two things at a time. That's kind of like saying "We aren't going to make our 40 man roster decisions until we figure out the SP."
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      I am nervous about a multi yr deal with him considering they NEVER pitched him on 3 consecutive days once. This is something that a reliable late inning reliever is gonna have to do occasionally. With this in mind, I would probably offer 2 yrs with a 3rd yr option based on appearances
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      The GM/Front Office can work on more than one or two things at a time. That's kind of like saying "We aren't going to make our 40 man roster decisions until we figure out the SP."
      "Jack of all trades, master of none"
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      I'm all for going for a 3 year $6 million contract on Burton. That would be a good contract for an important player.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      If he signs a multi-year contract--second year will have to be $3 million or he wont take it. I would not be in a rush to commit $3 million to a 32 year old pitcher with an injury history. Offer 2 year $5million and see what happens--if nothing go to arbitration or sign him for 1 year and 2 million (maybe 2.3)...not an urgent situation he is under Twins control for another year.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Too much... What you are suggesting is a deal better than the one Perkins got. No way the Twins should do this.
    1. SpantheMan's Avatar
      SpantheMan -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      For those of you thinking that Burton will give up free agency for 2 million consider Jon Rauch got 3.5 from the Mets. Another good year and he could get a 3/13 deal like Crain or a 3/12 like Guerrier. Do you really think that Burton will give up the chance for that kind of money for 2 million? Do you really think an athlete thinks "What if I get injured?"
      I would assume they don't just ignore the fact that they might get injured. That's why they like contract security. Especially Burton, who has been injured a lot in his career. Besides, no agent would let his guy assume he won't get injured.
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