• Blue Jays claim Alex Burnett off waivers

    La Velle E. Neal III reports that right-handed reliever Alex Burnett, who has made 174 appearances out of the Minnesota Twins bullpen over the past three seasons, is officially no longer with the organization. After being placed on outright waivers, presumably to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, Burnett was claimed by the Blue Jays on Friday.

    It's not difficult to see why a team like Toronto might want to chance it on Burnett. He brandishes a hard fastball and a slider with some real snap. Back when he was first breaking into the Twins bullpen at age 22 I thought he might develop into a pretty nice option for the late innings.

    But he didn't develop. Neal wrote in his report that "Twins officials were unhappy with [Burnett's] spring, saying he had taken a step back." In general, it seems that the 25-year-old has gone nowhere but backwards, with K-rates dropping from 18 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2011 to 12 percent last year. This spring he was a complete mess, coughing up 15 hits and seven walks in 8 1/3 innings while striking out only one of the 46 batters he faced.

    That was apparently the last straw for the Twins. This move is a little surprising considering what a constant Burnett has been in the big-league bullpen over the past few seasons, but I guess we can mark it down along with Drew Butera's recent demotion as evidence that the "no more scholarships" policy is being enforced.

    Meanwhile, we'll have to hope that Burnett doesn't join the likes of Craig Breslow and Grant Balfour as relievers the Twins gave up on too hastily.
    Comments 42 Comments
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      I wish him luck. For some reason I always liked him, despite the frustration with him.
      He was a WAR neutral player in his time at the MLB level, though perhaps he does have some potential.
      At the end of the day I would have much rather seen Butera go, but losing a replacement level player is never going to be a huge mistake.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=...tt-off-waivers
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Somehow the Twins didn't utilize the talent they saw in the 22 year old they brought to the majors. It is either an error in talent assessment at the time of call up or talent development by not allowing him real time in AAA.

      I hope he does well with the Blue Jay organization.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Totally stupid move by Ryan. Lots of other options to take off the 40-man roster including Butera, Wood, Thielbar. Or he could at least try to work out a trade. Horrible move I hope it does not come back to bite the Twins
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Inherited runners scored was a Burnett specialty. Doesn't Boston have to put him on waivers to send him to AAA, too?
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      With Thielbar and Butera being more likely candidates to go thru waivers, surprised by this move (shades of Pat Neshek who still had options). Burnett was still young enough to contribute 2-3 years in the back of the bullpen. Maybe it opens a door for Slama to be reconsidered in the near future.
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      I'm not sure Butera makes it through waivers, at least if the reports were accurate when he was sent to AAA. Some would argue that it would not be a major loss if Butera had been outrighted, but Burnett is easily replaceable. Are we really worried he's going to tear it up in the AL East?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Burnett is not going to last long in the majors.
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      I don't have any basis for this, but just seems to be true. How many guys actually are successful relievers if they come out of the minors as relievers. It seems as though most of the Twins top relievers were converted starters: Aguilera, Guardado, Hawkins, Nathan.... I think Burnett pretty much reached his ceiling which was 4th or 5th reliever.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Burnett was optioned to Triple-A by Toronto. On their 40-man, but not on their 25-man. Same as his situation here. He's also using his final option this year and will more than likely be arbitration-eligible after this season.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      I'm not bothered by this. Burnett is not getting any better. And his peripherals are getting worse. Andy loved him to a fault the last three years. And it cost the Twins plenty. Plus, he's like 10 other guys waiting for an opportunity. He walked 6 guys in 8 innings this spring. That, more than anything, sealed his fate. I'd be surprised if he amounts to anything for the Blue Jays.
    1. adjacent's Avatar
      adjacent -
      I am sure they thought Burnett would clear waivers, but it is not a big loss. He was sent down because other guys were better, and there are plenty of other options.
    1. bear333's Avatar
      bear333 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Totally stupid move by Ryan. Lots of other options to take off the 40-man roster including Butera, Wood, Thielbar. Or he could at least try to work out a trade. Horrible move I hope it does not come back to bite the Twins
      Burnett did this to himself.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      One down and more to go. Progress for a team is removing dead wood from the 40 man roster, Toronto has room because of trading many upper level minor league prospects on the 40 man roster for the talent they received in trade. Odds are this will not hurt and Twins and in my mind is the start of improvement
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Burnett is no better it worse than anyone else on this staff. Other than Hicks the entire 25 man roster could be dealt or claimed and I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. This is a bottom 3 roster in the majors. Not worth getting worked up when a AA talent we had on the major league roster gets claimed. Addition by subtraction.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Somehow the Twins didn't utilize the talent they saw in the 22 year old they brought to the majors. It is either an error in talent assessment at the time of call up or talent development by not allowing him real time in AAA.

      I hope he does well with the Blue Jay organization.
      Or maybe (and this is a wild and crazy thought), just a tiny bit of the responsibility falls on the player?
      No nevermind, what was I thinking. Couldn't possibly be the player's fault that he didnt achieve his potential.
      Much like JaMarcus Russell, and Todd Marinovich, it was the coaching staff and FO that ruined him.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Totally stupid move by Ryan. Lots of other options to take off the 40-man roster including Butera, Wood, Thielbar. Or he could at least try to work out a trade. Horrible move I hope it does not come back to bite the Twins
      I think "stupid" and "horrible" might be just a tad too strong of words for losing a replacement level middle reliever.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Stupid move by Twins. You do not waiver a major league ready player with a option.
    1. spideyo's Avatar
      spideyo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      Stupid move by Twins. You do not waiver a major league ready player with a option.
      They had to waive somebody to make room for Ramirez. They can't waive anybody that's injured, and they clearly felt that losing Burnett would be less impactful than losing any of the other candidates.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      Stupid move by Twins. You do not waiver a major league ready player with a option.
      The option had nothing to do with it. They had to remove someone from the 40 man roster, options have nothing to do with that.
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