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Astros reject Lance Berkman’s attempt to return to Houston

Nov 29, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

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Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle writes that Lance Berkman “believed he would return to the Astros in 2011 … from the moment he was traded to the Yankees last July.” However, when his agent approached general manager Ed Wade about potentially returning to Houston he was told “thanks, but no thanks.”

“It wasn’t a long conversation,” Berkman told Justice. “After initially being pretty disappointed, I’ve gotten over it. Now my focus is on who is going to contend that wants me to play for them.”

Most players let their agent do the dirty work when it comes to talking publicly about the offers they’re receiving on the open market, but Berkman cut out the middle man and told Justice that he’s had interest from the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, A’s, Pirates, and Blue Jays. However, according to Berkman most teams are merely in the “tire-kicking” stage right now and he’s yet to receive any concrete offers “in terms of X amount of dollars.”

Berkman is 35 years old and coming off the worst season of his career, struggling for the Yankees following a mid-season trade and finishing with a sub-.800 OPS for the first time, but he maintained good on-base skills and could resume being a very dangerous hitter if his power returns even a little bit.

  1. BC - Nov 29, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Where would St.Louis play him? Berkman can’t really play the OF any more, and the Cardinals have this kid at 1B that looks really promising…..
    Maybe the Mets can sign him as a 4th starter?

  2. micklite7 - Nov 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    He would most likely play RF here in St. Louis…but yeah I dont know about that.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Nov 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Tampa Bay makes so much sense on a one-year deal loaded with incentives.

    They need to cut salary and they’re likely in need of both a DH and a 1B…could this situation make any more sense?!

    The Rays could logically sign Berkman and someone like Manny at low-dollars and lose very little offense–assuming Desmond Jennings is ready to step-in atop the lineup and Ben Zobrist rebounds–despite cutting salary for next year.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 29, 2010 at 12:33 PM

      The Rays ought to go for either LaRoche or Overbay, and sign Nick Johnson to a low, incentive-fueled deal so they get a higher average and OBP out of the 1B spot.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 29, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    I have a lot of respect for Berkman, in terms of character as well as talent. If he were the Cubs 1B for a year or two I’d be thrilled, despite him being in the twilight of his career.

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