I have not seen an announcement, but IndyBaseballChatter.com has it on good authority that former Atlantic League hurler Greg Burke will rejoin San Diego. The Padres released the onetime Atlantic City, NJ righty last week when they needed 40-man roster space.
Presumably, Burke will sign a minor league deal with a major league spring training invitation, but with his 3-3 record and 4.14 earned run average for 48 National League appearances after an early-season call from Triple-A one would believe he would have an excellent opportunity to be back on the major league roster by Opening Day. That's not a bad performance, by any measure, especially for a first-time major leaguer.
TWO FAMILIAR NAMES SHOW UP IN MINORS ONCE AGAIN
These are not old-timers, still it was surprising to see right-handed pitchers Jermaine Van Buren and Nick Maness show up as new minor league signings. Van Buren is with Florida and Maness with Washington.
Van Buren, 29, made a rapid climb from Fort Worth, TX then of the Central League (the American Association today) where he was 9-4 (3.07 ERA) as a starter in 2003 to the Chicago Cubs' parent club two seasons later and some time with the Boston Red Sox in 2006. He was a combined 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA for 16 major league games. The Mississippian has not pitched in U.S. circles since 2007 although he was the saves leader in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan) in 2008. Florida has Van Buren on its Triple-A New Orleans roster.
It has been even longer since Maness, 32, last appeared in a professional game. He started 2006 with the Newark (NJ) Bears in the Atlantic League, going 2-2, 5.35 in 19 relief appearances. A onetime prospect who started playing professionally in 1997, Maness finished that season relieving once then starting seven times for Pensacola, FL in the American Association. He finished with a 2-4 record and a 4.62 earned run average. Maness spent part of 2005 with New Haven, CT of the Can-Am League, and also played for Camden, NJ in the Atlantic League and the traveling Aces of the Northeast League.