Sean Burnett was one of the last cuts before Opening Day after he impressed the Washington Nationals in Spring Training.
The one-time Nats’ reliever (2009-2012), signed a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was released.
He then signed with the Braves, but was once again released before catching on with the Minnesota Twins.
In 42 games and 42 ⅓ IP at Triple-A in all three organizations, the 33-year-old reliever posted a 1.91 ERA with 14 walks and 28 Ks, earning three saves along the way.
This afternoon, the Nationals reportedly acquired the southpaw from the Twins in return for cash considerations:
JUST ANNOUNCED! The @Nationals have acquired LHP Sean Burnett from the Twins for cash considerations. He will join the Chiefs today!— Syracuse Chiefs (@SyracuseChiefs) August 19, 2016
With Sammy Solis struggling with left shoulder inflammation, Oliver Perez struggling in the major league bullpen and the third left-hander they had in the bullpen this season, Felipe Rivero, now pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s not too surprising the Nationals were in the market for some bullpen depth, especially from the left side.
Dusty Baker talked this Spring about the difficult the decision the Nationals had to make in their last cuts, which included Burnett.
"It came down to a matter of numbers and who don't you keep?" Baker explained.
"[Shawn] Kelley signed a three-year contract, was signed with us. [Matt] Belisle has an outstanding track record.
"Do you carry three left-handers or two left-handers? And the rest of the bullpen was kind of set as it was. [Yusmeiro] Petit's coming off a couple World Series, so like I said, it was a very, very, very tough decision. Especially for Mike Rizzo, [being] involved, because he's close to Burnett.
"We'd like to keep them all and if they don't get a big league job we'd still like to have them back, but you can't stand in the way of their careers and be so selfish that you want them back and not in the big leagues and in the minor leagues."
Burnett will start back in the minor leagues, with Triple-A Syracuse. Will he make it back up to the majors for the first time since 2014 with the Nationals?