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The Astros have interest in Lance Berkman

Nov 2, 2012, 10:05 PM EDT

Lance Berkman AP AP

The Astros are set to make the switch to the American League next season. And they have set their sights on a familiar face to be their designated hitter.

According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said at the team’s uniform unveiling tonight that he plans to reach out to Berkman to gauge his interest about returning to his roots.

“We’re going to make a baseball decision for the organization and for the future of the Houston Astros,” Luhnow said “Clearly Lance has a great history here and he was a key part of a great franchise in a great time. If we feel collectively that there’s a fit in terms of what we need and what he can provide, we won’t be hesitant to pursue it.”

Berkman, 36, was limited to just 32 games this season due to knee problems and said in September that he was considering retiring and going back to Rice University to finish his degree. Health concerns aside, it’s not clear whether he’s willing to play in a league which he referred to as “Mickey Mouse” last month. And though it was a small sample, he was also pretty terrible as a DH with the Yankees in 2010.

Berkman, who still keeps a home in Houston, was a first-round pick of the Astros in 1997 and played 12 seasons with the club before being traded to the Yankees in 2010. He is fifth in team history in hits, fourth in games played, third in RBI, second in homers and first in OPS.

  1. alligator8 - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    With that roster, who DON’T the Astros have interest in?

  2. stex52 - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I’m a huge fan of Berkman. But I’m guessing this doesn’t happen. I’m not sure he can stay healthy. I also think that he has been telegraphing to people that he doesn’t want to play in the AL. It would be popular in Houston, but he might end up tarnishing his memories with Houston if he can’t hit or stays injured.

    As a fellow Rice grad, it suits me fine if he just ends up there.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      I think Berkman is the best choice to help transition Houston Astro fans to AL ball. It’ll be interesting to see if enough money can get him to prop on some Mickey ears. And Rice is just further downtown from Minute Maid, no?

      I see Berkman in classes all day and in the dugout all night. Kind of like Angel.

      • jeffa43 - Nov 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Bring him back. We are not going to the playoffs with or without him.
        So any argument against is pointless.

        Huge Astro financial supporter.

  3. Caught Looking - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Interest as a player for the 2013 season or as a body to model the new uniforms?

  4. jason9696 - Nov 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I hope if he decides to go there that the Mickey Mouse douche bag stinks up the AL like he did with the Yankees.

    • mazblast - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:41 AM

      Sample size, sample size, sample size.

  5. blazertop - Nov 3, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    JUST. NO.

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