Sean Burnett Available

Sean Burnett pitching for the Pittsburgh PiratesOnly a few days ago you saw that former first-rounder Sean Burnett was pitching well in winter ball, and might be on his way to a successful comeback after several arm issues.

Well wouldn’t you know that the Pittsburgh Pirates have just DFA’d Burnett, to make room on the roster for Ray Olmedo?

I realize we think the pitching staff is “done” with the addition of Johan Santana, but it would be nice to pick up a few arms to re-stock the depth in AAA now that Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey are no longer with us. Burnett could be a cheap, low-risk, high-reward acquisition to keep in the minors and possibly help the team at some point in 2008 or 2009.

According to reports, Burnett was healthy and pain-free all winter pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League, and had a strong showing during the Pirates’ minicamp in early January. He’s pitched the last two years in AAA but wasn’t terribly successful — though, he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Why bother with a little lefty with a 5-5 MLB record and a history of arm problems? Four reasons: one, he’s a former first-rounder, so he must have some kind of talent. Two, he’s a lefty, and we need more of those. Three, he never relied on overpowering batters — he was considered a crafty, smart pitcher — so there’s a good chance a loss in velocity won’t damage his effectiveness. Finally, he’ll come dirt-cheap, and with low risk.

I say jump on him, sign him to a AAA deal, give him an ST invite, and see what happens. There’s plenty of room on the 40-man roster right now.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. sincekindergarten February 3, 2008 at 4:17 pm
    Remeber the six words I had as a reason for signing Ricardo Rincon? They were:

    “Brian McCann”
    “Chase Utley”
    “Ryan Howard”

    I’d like to add this name. Yes, he’s a switch hitter, but he’s much beter from the left side . . .

    “Mark Teixeira”

  2. Micalpalyn February 4, 2008 at 12:31 pm
    I dont know what the 40-man looks like right now. Certainly Gomez and Humber are gone, and Deolis was not on it. Mulvey I dont know. But at last count there were 3 open slots (37). Lugo and Santana possibly mean its at 37 again.
  3. » A Pirate Pitcher » Mets Today March 27, 2008 at 5:31 am
    […] the first week of February, I suggested that the Mets give Sean Burnett a flyer, considering that they had plenty of room on the 40-man roster, he was a low-risk, high-reward guy, […]