Nationals agree to two-year extension with LHP Sean Burnett

Washington Avoids Salary Arbitration with Top Bullpen Lefty

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with left-handed reliever Sean Burnett on a two-year contract extension with a mutual option for the 2013 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

In 2010, his finest season to date, Burnett posted career-best efforts in appearances (73), saves (3), innings (63.0), strikeouts (62), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (8.9), holds (20), walks per 9.0 innings (2.9), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.1/1), OBP against (.284), slugging percentage against (.297) and ground-ball percentage (71.6%). Burnett, the victim of just one blown save, was one of only five MLB relievers to appear in 70-plus and suffer fewer than two blown saves in 2010.

Burnett capped 2010 by striking out 17 in 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings dating to Aug. 26.

Since being acquired by Washington on June 29, 2009, Burnett is 2-8 with three saves, just two blown saves, 25 holds and a 2.45 ERA in 106 appearances. During his tenure with Washington, Burnett has fanned 8.4 batters per 9.0 innings and fashioned a stingy .203 batting average against, including a .170 mark against opposing right-handed batters.

The 28 year-old Burnett is 9-16 with four saves, 39 holds and a 3.80 ERA in 215 career games/13 starts spanning four big league campaigns with Washington and Pittsburgh.