Brian Burres Signing Confirmed, San Francisco Giants Also Talking to Boof Bonser

Troy NelsonContributor IIIDecember 23, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Brian Burres #71 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Houston Astros during the game on September 7, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

San Francisco Giants beat writer Hank Schulman (San Francisco Chronicle) has put an end to my speculation that left-handed pitcher Brian Burres signed with the G-men earlier this week.

Schulman reported today that Burres, 30, who was originally drafted by the Giants in 2000, has indeed signed a one-year minor league contract with San Francisco.

Schulman’s confirmation comes three days after MLB Trade Rumors’ Ben Nicholson-Smith first broke the news:

The Giants signed left-hander Brian Burres to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, MLBTR has learned. San Francisco drafted Burres in the 31st round of the 2000 draft, but the 30-year-old has never played for the Giants at the MLB level. In six seasons with the Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays, Burres has a 5.75 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 38.3% ground ball rate. He posted a 3.86 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 14 innings with the Pirates this past season and spent most of the year as a starter at Triple-A, where he posted a 4.66 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 129 1/3 innings.

Major kudos to Nicholson-Smith for scooping the big boys.

Schulman also noted today that the Giants are discussing a minor league deal with another former first-round draft pick, Boof Bonser.

The 30-year-old Bonser underwent Tommy John surgery last April and is not expected to be able to begin throwing until next summer.

Bonser was the Giants’ top pick in 2000 (the same draft Burres was taken in) and signed a then-hefty $1.25 million signing bonus. The right-hander is probably best remembered as being part of the multi-player trade that saw the Giants send Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano to the Minnesota Twins for A.J. Pierzynski in 2003. That trade has come to epitomize what many Brian Sabean haters think about the Giants GM.

Bonser has been plagued with injuries since 2009. He had major shoulder surgery nearly three years ago, went on the 60-day DL with a  groin strain in 2010 and now is recovering from TJS on his right elbow.

Most recently, Bonser was with the Oakland A’s, where he made 13 appearances in 2010, compiling a 5.09 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 6.7 SO/9 rate and 2.3 BB/9 rate in 23 innings.

The Giants seem to be trying to catch lightning in a bottle here with the signings of Burres and Bonser, two former draft picks who went on to have forgettable careers with other teams. Ryan Vogelsong, who the Giants drafted in 1998 (fifth round), made a remarkable comeback last season after San Francisco took a chance on him last spring.