Nationals acquire catcher Jamie Burke

In need to replace Wil Nieves, who suffered a left hamstring injury on Thursday night, the Nationals acquired catcher Jamie Burke from the Mariners in exchange for cash considerations and placed catcher Jesus Flores on the 60-day disabled List.

General manager Mike Rizzo made this deal shortly after Nieves was hurt. The Nationals couldn’t go to their Minor League system because there is nobody that could help them right now.    

Interim manager Jim Riggleman managed Burke in Seattle last year. Burke is a solid defensive catcher, who has played parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues during his 17-year career. Burke, 37, hit .282 (107-for-380) with three home runs and 38 RBI in 184 career big-league games. He has posted a .280 (1183-for-4227) batting average with 54 home runs and 535 RBI in 1209 career minor-league contests.

“He is a good catch and throw guy, but he gets his hits,” Riggleman said. “He is a quality guy, total team guy, character person. He will help us get through those injuries.”     

In a backup role this season, Burke appeared 13 games with Seattle, hitting .284 (23-for-81) with 11 RBI in 22 games with Tacoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.



“The Nationals couldn’t go to their Minor League system because there is nobody that could help them right now.”


Yeah, it would’ve been nice if the Nationals explained why they couldn’t use one of the catchers in their “system” for the final two weeks. Luke Montz for example. Why a 37-year old guy from Seattle that, whoa, Jim knows — yeah, that oughta do it — is better than the guys in the system for the final two weeks, a guy with no future and nothing to learn. What signal does that send the guys who battled all year in Syracuse or Harrisburg? Here’s your reward guys — Jaime Burke. Or, hey, maybe Rizzo IS rewarding them: they won’t have to suffer with the Nats like the rest of us. And, another question: what does this show about the kind of “plan” the Nats have? Why are we suffering with tryouts in 2008 and 2009 and the rest of ’09 and trading productive players if they bring in 37-year-olds now? I guess Rizzo’s gotta prove he’s a tradin’, more makin’ genius. The trade of Johnson was hard to take but the one re Belliard was it for me — the Rizzo bandwagon ground to a halt. It looks a lot like the former bowdenwagon. In short, it’s a dysfunctional approach. It’s okay for the Nats to stumble the rest of ’09 to get “prospects” but then we get Burke instead of Montz. Maybe Rizzo should be given more “credit” for 2008 and 2009 than I realized.

Two weeks to go in another meaningless season and they can’t find any catcher in their system to bring up? I am often confused by the moves this organization makes and the lack of direction it seems to be headed in.

With the season practically over I find it hard to believe they have no one to promote for a quick taste of the big leagues. Where is the depth that these years of mediocrity have provided? This team should be way ahead of where it is now, if there are no major leaps next year than it is time to make sweeping changes

I wouldnt shoot down Rizzo yet. The Johnson trade cleared a log jam in the outfield and put a much better defensive leftfielder out there with Willingham and Dunn is as good defensively at first as Johnson. Rizzo also brought in Nyger Morgan who has a pretty good upside. I know you saying 37 yr old catcher but its for two weeks and the kids should be going to winterball anyway. Yes 2009 is over but lets look at 2010 the nats have a decent young team thats only going to get better.

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