The New York Yankees made another addition to their bullpen on Monday, signing free agent right-hander Jared Burton to a minor league deal, per a club announcement. The contract also includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
The 33-year-old Burton was effectively made a free agent when the Twins declined his $3.6 million club option for 2015 (paying him a $200,000 buyout) in December. Burton originally rose to the majors with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, posting two very strong seasons before falling back in 2009 and missing nearly all of 2010 and 2011 with shoulder issues.
Let go by the Reds, Burton latched on with the Minnesota Twins prior to the 2012 season, and reestablished himself as a capable reliever, garnering work in a set-up capacity. He combined to post a 3.02 ERA, 136 ERA+, 3.50 FIP, and 3.05 K/BB in 128.0 innings with the Twins in 2012 and 2013. However, Burton fell back last season, regressing to a 4.36 ERA, 91 ERA+, 4.23 ERA, and 1.84 K/BB in 64.0 innings pitched.
Burton will join a Yankees' bullpen that has undergone quite the overhaul this winter, and he stands a decent shot at cracking the club's Opening Day roster. New York lost closer David Robertson to the Chicago White Sox, but 2014 standout Dellin Betances should take over in the ninth inning, with free agent acquisition Andrew Miller (who landed a four-year, $36 million deal) stepping in for Betances in the eighth. Holdover Adam Warren and new additions David Carpenter and Justin WIlson also figure to play key roles. The rest of the rotation should be filled out with some combination of Jose Ramirez, Jose De Paula, Esmil Rogers, Chasen Shreve, Jacob Lindgren, Andrew Bailey, and Burton, the latter five of which have all been acquired over the past year.