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Lance Berkman has been contacted by the Red Sox, Rays, Phillies and Astros

Nov 19, 2012, 7:31 PM EDT

Lance Berkman AP AP

For someone who has been talking about retirement, Lance Berkman is a pretty popular guy.

Berkman told Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle today that he has been contacted by the Red Sox, Rays, Phillies and Astros, though nothing has advanced beyond “tire-kicking mode.” He’s “waiting to be blown away by an offer,” otherwise he’ll attend to his volunteer assistant coach job at Rice University.

Berkman met with Astros owner Jim Crane last week and said that new manager Bo Porter indicated that he would likely bat third and serve as the DH if he joins the club. The 36-year-old wouldn’t say what it would take for him to return to the Astros, but he wants to be compensated commensurate to where he’ll hit in the lineup.

“If I’m going to hit third for a major-league team, then obviously there’s a compensation level that accompanies that,” Berkman said. “It’s just a matter whether the Astros would be willing to pay that or not. If they are not, no hard feelings. I just feel like if you are going to do a job you deserve to be paid somewhere in the ballpark where the job description entails.”

The Astros are the sentimental favorite here and they’ll need a DH for their first season in the American League, but the other three options would give him a much better chance to win. However, after all his knee problems this year, it sounds like he’d be fine walking away from the game if he doesn’t find the right offer in the right situation.

  1. cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    I hope Phat Elvis doesn’t walk away. He could DH the hell out of the Astros who could really use him. Ball’s in Crane’s court if you ask me. Phat Elvis on a 2 year deal sounds just right. C’mon Crane: Puma-Cize that bad boy!

    • southofheaven81 - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:04 AM

      He was pretty bad as a DH for the Yankees. But maybe playing back in his old Houston digs will perk him up.

      • paperlions - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:01 AM

        Playing on one knee will do that to most hitters.

      • jeffa43 - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        Solid stick… Let’s hope Houston does the right thing and bring him back home. Without Big Puma, Cards do not win the series.

        Oh! For crying out loud…. Sign Browny and Deshais!!!!

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    The Red Sox and Rays? Did they not get a first-hand look at the disaster Berkman was in the AL East?

    • shynessismyelguapo - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:28 PM

      True. The best judgement of Lance Berkman’s future performance would be a single 37 game stretch instead of…say…the entire rest of his career.

      I can get behind the notion that he may not have anything left and is too much of an injury liability. But many, many players have had bad stretches. Berkman’s stretch with the Yankees only sticks out because it happened after a trade.

      • humanexcrement - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        You’re absolutely right. It was clear then and now that Berkman didn’t want to go to the AL, didn’t feel comfortable in the clubhouse because the only person he knew there was Andy Pettite, REALLY didn’t want to be a DH, let alone a platoon DH, was coming off a down year late in his career which probably had him thinking about walking away, and was very sad and nostalgic that his time in Houston was over. He’s made it abundantly clear that he despises the DH position and AL baseball, but if he wants to play for a winning team, he’s probably going to have to get over that. I think he’d be a really good fit for Joe Maddon and the Rays, and he’d get considerable time at 1B there, too, I’m sure.

    • delashmit - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      He cannot be any worse for the Rays than Carlos Pena was last year.

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    So previously the Red Sox had “interest in”, had players on their “radar” and “we’re checking out” various players. Today he have yet a new term for a player “kicking the tires” and his connection to the Red Sox.

  4. Gonzo - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I understand that money makes these guys move. But does he have to openly talk about it? He’s coming off as a douche.

    • okwhitefalcon - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      I think him making no bones about it being all about the money is fucking awesome.

      • paperlions - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:04 AM

        I don’t know if I would say awesome….but it is honest, and I am a fan of honesty.

        I would LOVE it if Crane would come out and say, “We were thinking of batting Lance 7th, so we are looking at that level of compensation.” Berkman would probably think it was funny as hell, too.

  5. indaburg - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    This doesn’t make sense. Didn’t he just say a couple of weeks ago that the AL is “Mickey Mouse” and he hates the DH? Why are these teams, other than the Phillies for obvious reasons and the Astros for old times’ sake, contacting him? At least with the Rays, he could play 1B but I don’t think he’s a fit based on his own words.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      I wish none of the AL teams would take him, so he could enjoy his DH-free retirement.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        Come on Philiac…don’t hate on. The dude is as honest as they come.
        How can you not appreciate that?
        As Paper stated…
        I think it would be funny as hell if Crane made a statment to the affect of paying him in the range of a 6 or 7 hitter.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        I’m gonna hate. If he thinks our league is rinky-dink and crappy then he should not play in it. Those of us who love it don’t need his negativity. See, how he’ll take our money though.

        Where you been hiding, Woodpecker?

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:48 AM

        Hunting season started so I have been busy with that. Spent some time down in Kentucky hunting on the western edge of the appalachin mountaint. Now we got the holidays. Getting all geared up for that! Fun times huh? How about you? Things going okay? Ready for Thanksgiving?

      • historiophiliac - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Beautiful country. Did you get anything? I’m about ready for the holiday. There will be pie! I’m not much of a baker, so it’s about the only time I get homemade desserts.

  6. pisano - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    After the egg he laid on the Yankees, any AL team that’s stupid enough to sign him, deserves what they get. If he’s smart and wants to play, he’ll stay in the NL.

  7. yankeepunk3000 - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    so if they stick him in the 3rd hole he wants to be payed like a power bat? what 5 or 10 mil? is he serious??? so tell him he’s playing 7th and give him less haha

  8. willclarkgameface - Nov 20, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Of COURSE the Red Sox want this guy.

    It’s a responsible and smart deal for Ben. RIGHT, Ben?

    Dip shits.

  9. budjoy4 - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    I thought the Red Sox were trying to build a competitive new team. It won’t happen with 36 year old Berkman in the AL East.

  10. psousa1 - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Probably more Berkman and/or his agent saying the Red Sox and Rays are interested. Cannot imagine an AL East team wanting him. He looked like an absolute mess with NY. I thought he would retire after that season. Then he goes back to the NL and hits over .300

    I’m sure he will want to stay in the NL instead of the ‘Mickey Mouse’ AL where he was overmatched.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Cause’ the 3 minutes he spent part-timing on bad wheels is certainly large enough of a sample size.

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