NEW YORK -- The Orioles claimed pitcher Alex Burnett off waivers from the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon, optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Norfolk, where he is expected to be part of the bullpen.
"He's a qualified big leaguer," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Burnett, who has gone 8-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 174 Major League games from 2010-12, all with the Minnesota Twins. "He's 25 years old, got a good sinker, a good slider and we think he can support our Major League team."
With the recent trade of right-handed reliever Luis Ayala, Duquette said the organization had wanted to add some depth, and the O's like Burnett's combination of youth and experience.
"He's a good kid, he likes to pitch," Duquette said. "We like him."
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles moved Wilson Betemit from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Betemit is recovering from a Grade 2 PCL tear in his right knee.
Burnett has gone 28-24 with a 3.40 ERA in eight Minor League seasons with the Toronto and Minnesota organizations. He was originally selected by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.