According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the San Diego Padres have acquired Cleveland Indian minor-league pitcher Cory Burns in exchange for outfielder Aaron Cunningham. Burns (6′-1”, 180 lb) is a 24-year-old right-hander drafted by the Indians in the eighth round of the 2009 amateur draft. In three minor-league seasons in the Indians organization, Burns posted a 2.02 ERA , 147.1 IP, 35 BB ( 2.1BB/9) and 188 K (11.9 SO/9) with a 0.971 WHIP. Last year at double-A Akron, Burns went 2-5 with a 2.11 ERA in 59.2 IP, walking 15, while striking out 70, a 10.6 strikeout per 9 ratio. Also, he only allowed three homers in those 59.2 innings pitched. Last season, Burns was named by MiLB the double-A reliever of the year. The scouting report: Burns has a deceptive, rather unorthodox type of delivery which has been characterized by some as “tornado like.” His fastball is not overpowering, sitting between 88-91 mph, but he mixes in a plus change-up and knuckle curveball.
The Padres are very deep with outfielders. So, suffice it to say, Cunningham was expendable with other prospects being ahead of him on the minor-league and major-league depth charts. Cunningham, now 25, the former prospect selected 55th overall in 2009, will possibly have a shot in Cleveland. Cunningham never had a legit chance in San Diego on an everyday basis, coming over in (now former) general manager Jed Hoyer’s first trade. Last year at triple-A Tucson, Cunningham hit a clean .329/.398/.532, 34 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR and 63 RBI. In a few cups of coffee between the Athletics and the Padres, Cunningham has posted a career .231/.290/.375 line in only 355 AB, while showing flashes of promise. Last year, upon his second call up with the Padres, he batted a mediocre .178/.257/.367 line in only 90 AB, many of those coming off the bench as a pinch hitter.