Designated for assignment by the Padres last week, right-hander Cory Burns has been traded to the Rangers for a player to be named later.
Burns made his big-league debut this year with a 5.50 ERA in 17 appearances out of San Diego’s bullpen, but the 24-year-old has a very impressive minor-league track record that includes a 2.36 ERA and 266 strikeouts in 213 innings.
Burns works in the high-80s with his fastball, but as Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs analyzed in September his changeup is incredibly good and he throws it as often as any pitcher in baseball. I’d like to see the Rangers give Burns an extended opportunity, if only because it’d be interesting to find out if such a changeup-driven approach could work like it did in the minors.
No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.
Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.
It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.
Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.