Everth Cabrera Out for Two-Plus Months; Padres Reacquire Chris Burke
North County Times
The Padres learned Monday that backup shortstop Everth Cabrera has a broken hamate bone in his left hand and will miss at least two months. Then they arranged to reacquire utility player Chris Burke, a player they traded to Seattle just three weeks ago, a source with knowledge of the situation said.
Cabrera suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch during a sixth-inning at-bat on Sunday in Philadelphia. He will undergo surgery Tuesday in San Diego and be placed on the 60-day disabled list.
To replace him, the Padres plan to announce that they have traded for Burke, according to a source who spoke on condition on anonymity because the trade will not be announced until Tuesday.
Burke is expected to be in uniform when the Padres open a two-game series Tuesday in San Francisco.
The Padres traded him to the Mariners on March 29 largely because they had decided Cabrera, a 22-year-old Rule 5 draft pick, would make the team instead of Burke.
Burke, 29, has been playing with Seattle's Triple-A team in Tacoma, where he was hitting .237 in 38 at-bats. A first-round draft pick of the Houston Astros in 2001, Burke has appeared in 445 major league games over the last five seasons, predominatly playing second base and the outfield. He has played in only 17 games as a shortstop.
Burke batted .194 in 86 games with Arizona in 2008 then signed a minor league contract with the Padres that included an invitation to spring training.
Cabrera was off to a strong start this season, batting .308 in six games while supplying solid defense. Though the Padres can replace Cabrera on the 40-man roster, they do not have to offer him back to the Rockies.
Starting shortstop Luis Rodriguez broke his hamate bone while playing for Triple-A Portland last season. He missed more than two months, but returned in time to earn a promotion to the Padres and hit .287 in 64 major league games.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said he was searching for a replacement prior to Monday's game against Philadelphia, which was rained out.
"We are currently exploring options for his replacement, both internally and externally," Towers said. "Our hope is to have a replacement in uniform prior to tomorrow's game with the Giants."
Towers said second baseman David Eckstein was not considered an option to spell Rodriguez at shortstop. Eckstein has spent most of his eight-year career as a shortstop, but he signed with the Padres over the offseason specifically because the club wanted him to play his natural position, second base.
Towers said Monday that it was doubtful the Padres would turn to Eckstein unless it "was a need in an emergency situation."
This is bad news for the Padres. Burke is a replacement-level player at best, and the Padres need as much offense as they can get. Here's hoping to a speedy recovery for Cabrera.