Phillies give Burnett his unconditional release

March 26th, 2017
Veteran Sean Burnett posted a 2.00 ERA in seven Grapefruit League appearances for the Phillies this spring. (AP)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies made their first roster transaction on Sunday morning in what is expected to be a busy week.

Left-hander was granted his unconditional release. He had a clause in his contract that said he needed to be placed on the Major League roster by Sunday. If not, he must be released upon his request. Burnett entered camp as a non-roster invitee, making him a relative long shot compared to relief pitchers already on the 40-man roster.

Burnett posted a 2.00 ERA in seven Grapefruit League appearances. He allowed six hits, three runs (two earned runs), one home run and two walks.

"I've been in the game long enough," Burnett said on his way to his car. "When you're a non-roster guy, I'm sure it comes down to roster spots -- but you've got to be pretty much perfect. I definitely wasn't perfect. I could have been a little sharper. Results- and numbers-wise it looked OK, but that's not always what Spring Training is about."

The Phillies have two bullpen jobs available, if they carry seven relievers. Left-hander remains in camp, but he is a non-roster invitee, as well. It seems more likely some combination of left-handers and and right-handers and will take those two bullpen jobs because they are on the 40-man roster.

The Phillies' front office is meeting with manager Pete Mackanin and his coaching staff following Sunday's game to discuss the Opening Day roster. Outfielder Chris Coghlan can ask for his release Sunday, but the Phillies have until Tuesday to make a decision on him.

Catchers and have similar stipulations in their contracts. Outfielder must be placed on the 25-man roster by June 15 or he must be released if he has a spot on another team's 25-man roster.

"Hopefully, something will be out there for me," Burnett said. "I feel good. I've been healthy and throwing the ball well."