Burton a free agent after Twins decline option

Burton a free agent after Twins decline option

Published Oct. 22, 2014 4:23 p.m. ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- Relief pitcher Jared Burton's time in a Twins uniform appears to be over.

Minnesota announced Wednesday that it declined Burton's 2015 club option worth $3.6 million. After receiving a $200,000 buyout, Burton is now a free agent.

Burton, 33, spent three seasons with Minnesota and posted an 8-16 record and a 3.47 ERA in 192 innings. He began his major-league career with the Cincinnati Reds, where he pitched for five years before signing with Twins before the 2012 season. Injuries limited Burton in 2010 and 2011 with the Reds, but he stayed healthy during his tenure in Minnesota and appeared in at least 64 games in each of his three seasons with the Twins, often as the setup man in the eighth inning.

After an impressive first season with Minnesota in 2012, Burton's numbers gradually went in the wrong direction over the following two years. His 4.36 ERA and 1.297 WHIP in 2014 were both the highest during his time with the Twins, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio also decreased from 3.44 in 2012 to 2.77 last year to 1.84 in 2014. Given his decline in production, coupled with the amount he was set to make if the Twins picked up his option, Wednesday's move didn't come as much of a surprise.


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