Now that the Nationals’ postseason hopes have been dashed, Sean Burnett will turn his attention to addressing an injury that he pitched through during the second half of the season.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Burnett will undergo surgery next week to remove a small “bone spur or two” from his left elbow. The good news is that it’s a relatively minor procedure that will likely not affect his offseason throwing program.
Burnett posted a 2.38 ERA and 57/12 K/BB ratio over 56 2/3 innings in 70 relief appearances during the regular season, but gave up four runs (three earned) over one inning of work in two appearances during the NLDS against the Cardinals. His contract includes a mutual option for next season at $3.5 million, but Kilgore speculates that Burnett is likely to decline and test the open market. Of course, the Nationals have until five days after the World Series to change his mind if they are so inclined.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.