03/29/09 4:08 PM ET
Padres trade Burke to Mariners
Deal all but guarantees infielder Cabrera will earn roster spot
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
By trading Burke, Rule 5 infielder Everth Cabrera is all but guaranteed of making the team.
The Padres informed Burke that he wouldn't make the team Saturday. On Sunday morning, they worked out a deal to send him to the Mariners.
Burke hit .281 with a double and three RBIs in 32 at-bats this spring, playing third base, second base and shortstop. The Padres signed Burke to a non-roster contract in January hoping he would stick this spring.
"Even though it's a non-roster deal, we feel like he's got a chance to be on our ballclub," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said at the time of the signing.
Burke likely got caught up in a numbers crunch, as the Padres essentially have two jobs open on the bench for reserve infielders. One belonged to Edgar Gonzalez, older brother to All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
The other now will likely go to Cabrera, the 22-year-old shortstop who was picked in the Rule 5 Draft from Colorado in December. Cabrera, who hasn't played above the Class A level, is hitting .245 this spring in 53 at-bats with eight errors.
But Cabrera offers plenty of upside defensively and offensively and he has speed, something not many Padres have.
As for Burke, he understood the Padres did what they had to do.
"The bottom line is they like who they have. I think I've played well, but they like who they have. The reality is when you're a non-roster player, things could break that way," he said. "Unfortunately for me, they didn't think I was a good fit for them."
Also on Sunday:
Catcher Mitch Canham and infielder Brett Dowdy will be moved to the Minor League side, according to manager Bud Black. Canham had already been moved there but returned after catcher Colt Morton suffered a broken finger. Dowdy could still play during Cactus League action.
The Padres have returned Rule 5 pitcher Ivan Nova to the Yankees for $25,000. Nova had a 8.31 ERA in eight games and allowed three home runs. Also, pitcher Cesar Ramos -- who had a 10.93 ERA this spring -- was optioned to Triple-A Portland.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.