The Chicago Cubs today claimed right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.
Burnett, 25, made a career-high 67 relief appearances for the Minnesota Twins last season, going 4-4 with 10 holds and a 3.52 ERA (28 ER/71.2 IP). He led the club in relief innings and his 2.49 ERA (12 ER/43.1 IP) prior to the All-Star break ranked fourth among A.L. relievers. He surrendered just four home runs, walked 26 and struck out 36, a year in which he made his second-career, Opening Day roster (also in 2010). Burnett finished April with a 1.42 ERA (2 ER/12.2 IP) and later recorded 14-straight scoreless appearances (16.0 IP), May 28-July 2.
In 2011, Burnett made 66 relief appearances for the Twins, pitching to a 5.51 ERA (31 ER/50.2 IP) and stranding 52 of 62 inherited runners. All told, Burnett is 8-11 with a 4.73 ERA (90 ER/171.1 IP) in 176 major league relief appearances spanning parts of four seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2010-12) and Orioles (2013).
The six-foot, 221-pound Burnett began Spring Training with Minnesota, the organization that selected him in the 12th round of the 2005 draft, before he was claimed off waivers by Toronto, March 29. He was designated for assignment, April 10, and claimed off waivers by Baltimore, April 12.
This season, Burnett is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA (2 ER/12.0 IP) in nine minor league relief appearances between Triple-A Buffalo and Triple-A Norfolk. He made two relief appearances for Baltimore this month, totaling 1.1 innings, before he was designated for assignment by the Orioles, May 23.
Burnett, a native of Westminster, Calif., owns a 29-24 record with 16 saves and a 3.37 ERA (199 ER/531.2 IP) in 166 career minor league games (73 starts). He was named a 2007 Midwest League All-Star with Single-A Beloit.