Cunningham was originally acquired by the Padres with Scott Hairston in the 2010 deal that sent Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Sogard to the Oakland A’s. Cunningham had a very solid year in 2010, hitting .288/.331/.417 in 147 plate appearances. He struggled last season, putting up a .178/.257/.367 line in just 101 PAs.
Cunningham, who will only be 26 in April, still has a chance to become a decent fourth outfield if given a shot in Cleveland.
Right-hander Cory Burns was drafted in the eighth round of the 2009 draft by the Indians. Never highly-regarded by scouts, Burns has rose promisingly through the Indians system. So far in 147.3 innings, he’s struck out a whopping 188, walked just 35, and given up only seven homers. Some gaudy numbers, for sure, but he is a reliever and his stuff isn’t overwhelming.
Ben Badler of Baseball America describes Burns on Twitter:
New Padres RHP Cory Burns: Huge K-rate, below-average stuff and a windup that evokes Hideo Nomo.
Burns may remind you of a guy like Joe Thatcher, disregarding their respective handedness. Dominant minor league numbers, a bit old for his league, funky delivery, etc. In fact, look at their minor league numbers:
While Burns is far from a sure-thing to develop into a major league reliever, there’s a decent chance he can carve out a specialist role in the Padres bullpen, ala Thatcher, is the near future.