On Wednesday afternoon, the Angels came to terms with relief pitcher, Sean Burnett on a two-year deal worth $8 million, with a club option for a third season.
Over the past four years with the Pirates and Nationals, Burnett has quietly become one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. From 2009 to 2012, he has pitched an average of 58 innings per season, with a 2.85 ERA and a 142 ERA+. The 30-year-old has also been worth 4.7 wins above replacement over that span.
The bullpen was a mess last year, but with the addition of Burnett and last week’s Ryan Madson signing, it now appears to be a strength. Something the Angels really could have used last season.
As it stands, the Angels bullpen looks to be made up of at least Burnett, Madson, Scott Downs, Ernesto Frieri, and Kevin Jepsen. Depending upon whether or not the Halos add another starter, Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards, or both could also be in the pen.
The Angels also have depth, something they lacked last season, with David Carpenter, Barry Enright, Bobby Cassevah, Steve Geltz, Brandon Sisk, and Andrew Taylor all toiling the upper minors. Nick Maronde, who was lights out in 12 appearances with the Angels down the stretch last season, is likely to be tried as a starter in 2013 as he has significant upside there, but if that fails he could return to the bullpen where he would immediately become one of the Angels top relief options.
Overall, the Burnett signing looks to be a good one for the Angels, especially considering the price some some teams have had to pay for quality relief pitching this offseason.
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