Burton heads to free agency after Twins decline option

Burton heads to free agency after Twins decline option

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins declined their $3.6 million club option on right-handed reliever Jared Burton, the club announced Wednesday. Burton will receive a $200,000 buyout and will now become a free agent.

Burton, 33, posted a 4.36 ERA with three saves in 68 appearances last season. The right-hander struck out 46 and walked 25 in 64 innings.

It was his third year with the Twins after he was signed as a Minor League free agent prior to the 2012 season. He had his best season in the Majors in '12, posting a career-best 2.18 ERA in 62 innings. He signed a two-year extension worth $5.5 million after that season with a player option for '15.

Burton had a cumulative 3.47 ERA in 192 innings in his three seasons with the Twins. He has a career 3.44 ERA, and spent the first five years of his career with the Reds. Burton had shoulder surgery before joining the Twins, but he never went on the disabled list with any shoulder issues while with Minnesota.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.