Burke making most of whirlwind tour

Burke making most of whirlwind tour

NEW YORK -- This past Thursday, catcher Jamie Burke was at his offseason home with his family, believing that his season was over. A few days earlier, he had been playing for the Mariners in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

Although he enjoyed being with his family, there was a part of Burke, 37, who felt he should be playing baseball.

"I wanted to be home with my family, but I still wanted to be at the ballpark," Burke said.

That Thursday night, Burke received a pleasant surprise, as the Mariners informed Burke that he had been traded to the Nationals for cash considerations. Burke believed the trade was for the 2010 season, but he was told that he should meet the team in New York to play against the Mets.

The reason the Nationals acquired Burke was because Wil Nieves suffered a left hamstring strain on Thursday night against the Phillies and Washington didn't have a veteran catcher in the Minor League to replace him. The deal was made by general manager Mike Rizzo during the middle of the game.

"I try not to pay attention to all that stuff, but it's a blessing for me to get this opportunity," Burke said. "I've been in the shoes of other kids and other guys who have been in the organization the whole year and they don't get the call. They call someone from a different organization. I just feel very grateful being on the team, and I hope to show them some things."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.