NASHVILLE — The Angels have expressed "serious" interest in veteran reliever Sean Burnett, according to a person familiar with negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly about them, but their competition for the veteran left-hander will be stiff.
At least eight teams, including Washington, St. Louis and Milwaukee, are reportedly interested in Burnett, who went 1-2 with a 2.38 earned run average in 56 2/3 innings in 70 games for the Nationals last season.
Burnett, who has pitched four years in Washington, struck out 57, walked 12 and allowed only four home runs and was a key late-inning reliever for the National League East-winning Nationals. He complements a fastball that averaged 90.2 mph last season with a slider and change-up.
Burnett, 30, is expected to command a three-year deal for between $15 million $18 million, and he would be a natural replacement for veteran left-hander Scott Downs, who is entering the final year of a three-year, $15-million deal.
The Angels, who are also pursuing relievers such as Mike Adams and Joakim Soria, are looking to fill a bullpen void left by Friday’s trade of reliever Jordan Walden to the Atlanta Braves for starter Tommy Hanson. Their other priority, as they began baseball's winter meetings Monday, was to add a starting pitcher.