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A.J. Burnett Trade: Gustavo Nunez Placed On DL To Clear Roster Space

The Pirates have made room for A.J. Burnett on their 40-man roster:

#Pirates cleared A.J. Burnett’s room on the 40-man roster by placing INF Gustavo Nunez (Rule 5 pick from Det) on 60-day DL w/ ankle injury.

Nunez was a bit of a dubious Rule 5 pick to begin with — it’s unclear how much he’s going to hit in the majors even if he plays up to his potential. But there’s nothing better to do with a dubious Rule 5 pick than to place him on the DL. This way, the Pirates get to let him start the season in the minors, where he’ll have a leisurely “rehab” assignment before the Pirates need to promote him to the majors. This isn’t to say that Nunez’s injury isn’t legitimate, only that it’s very convenient, because without the DL, the Pirates would have to keep Nunez on the big-league roster all year or risk losing him. Anyway, this move likely means either Yamaico Navarro or Anderson Hernandez will make the team as the Bucs' utility infielder.

In other Burnett news, the pitcher will wear No. 34 in Spring Training. The Pirates have also cleared locker space for him.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.