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Phillies give Burnett his unconditional release

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

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

Left-hander Sean Burnett 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.

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

Left-hander Sean Burnett 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.

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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."

Video: PHI@NYY: Burnett retires Castillo to end the inning

The Phillies have two bullpen jobs available, if they carry seven relievers. Left-hander Cesar Ramos remains in camp, but he is a non-roster invitee, as well. It seems more likely some combination of left-handers Adam Morgan and Joely Rodriguez and right-handers Alec Asher and Luis Garcia 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 Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday have similar stipulations in their contracts. Outfielder Daniel Nava 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."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Sean Burnett