Angels Bolster Bullpen, Sign Sean Burnett

By Michael Hllywa

There I was, just minding mg own business at work, when I got a text message from my friend Kevin that said “We signed your boy.” That only meant one thing, and that one thing was one, Sean Burnett.

Jun 2, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Burnett (17)in the dugout during the games against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. The Nationals defeated the Braves 2 – 0. Mandatory Credit:

Brad Mills


If you follow me on twitter, it’s no secret that I’ve been pining for Burnett’s signing for some time now. A lefty arm, not named Hisanori Takahashi, who is good against righties (career .268/.348/.398 against him), and dominant against lefties (career .225/.291/.337 against). He pitches with deception, he pitches low in the zone, and he misses bats. Be still my heart.

Aside from getting a legitimately good arm for the pen, the price Dipoto paid for it couldn’t have been better. Two years, $8 million with an option for 2015. Repeat after me, bar-gain. Dipoto has done a very good job following what should be a golden rule, “Don’t spend big on the bullpen” with both this signing and the Ryan Madson deal.

Another player affected by this deal is young Nick Maronde. By signing a lefty who is not a specialist, Dipoto has practically ensured that Nick will head back to the minors for 2013 and continue his progression towards being a starter. Adding depth to a rotation that sorely needs it while simultaneously solidifying the middle of a bullpen that was the Angels Achilles Heel in 2012. Even though I personally would be tempted to put them both on the Big League roster, but my man crushes are besides the point.

I really shouldn’t be this excited about a left handed reliever. It’s not healthy, it’s not normal, for crying out loud we’re only going to get roughly 70 innings a year from him (He’s averaged 71 over the last four seasons). But, the ramifications that this one signing has, throughout the entire pitching staff, cannot be brushed aside. This is a great move by Jerry Dipoto, not just to shore up and complete a bullpen, but to add depth to the starting rotation as well. Well done, Jerry. Well done.