Sean Burnett has gotten so much interest from other teams that he’s probably priced out of the Nationals’ budget to re-sign.
Burnett has been linked to no fewer than a half-dozen other teams as a free agent and general manager Mike Rizzo admitted to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that “right now, I don’t see a fit financially or term-wise” to re-sign him.
Burnett has a 2.81 ERA since joining the Nationals in mid-2009, so the whole “team-wise” fit wouldn’t be all that difficult, but he’s in line for a three- or perhaps even four-year deal and apparently Rizzo doesn’t want to make that type of commitment to a 30-year-old reliever.
Yesterday the Nationals re-signed left-hander Zach Duke and Zuckerman reports that they’re interested in re-signing left-hander Michael Gonzalez, which would allow them to more cheaply fill the southpaw bullpen roles following Burnett’s departure.
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.