Berkman May Leave Astros If Option Is Declined

THURSDAY, 5:00pm: Astros owner Drayton McLane told's Brian McTaggart that they'll focus on Berkman's situation "during the season or the latter part of the season."  McLane also noted that Berkman and Roy Oswalt are the heartbeat of the Astros.

WEDNESDAY, 4:26pm: Bernando Fallas of the Houston Chronicle talked to Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, who is prepared to move on after the season if his $15MM club option is declined.  Said Berkman:

"If they don’t pick it up, I'll probably take my ball and go home.  If they don’t pick up my option, then to me that says they may like me to come back at a discount but they don't really want me.  If that's the case, then I'll just see what else is out there."

Berkman, 34, didn't rule out retirement, but said he's likely to keep playing.  GM Ed Wade essentially must decide if he wants Berkman on a one-year, $13MM deal, since his buyout costs $2MM.  Berkman is coming off a fine .274/.399/.509 line in a season some considered an off-year.  The 2011 free agent market could feature a few other big-name first basemen in Adam Dunn, Derrek Lee, and Carlos Pena.

49 Responses to Berkman May Leave Astros If Option Is Declined Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    Mr. Met wants Lance Berkman in NY! But I think that the The Orioles want Berkman more. Thats my pick. O’s!

    But You can expect the Braves, Mets, Red Sox, Mariners, Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rays, and Nationals to hop in as well.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      James Loney. And also, Yankees probably will want to have the rotating DH after this season, letting their veterans take a day off to DH once in a while.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    How would berk play for the yanks? His glove is still good enough. Besides, it would be a shame for berk to play for any other team..

    • Guest 5 years ago

      His glove is still good enough. But maybe the idea of Winning a World Series will lure Berkman to the Bronx. Doubtful though. Thats why I think it’s going to be the Orioles, Mets, or Dodgers.

      • What exactly would he do in the Bronx? Not a lot of openings in the Yankee lineup… It’s career suicide for Wade not to pick up the option in Houston. Berkman is god in Houston, and for that reason alone, the option is exercised

        • He could DH for the Yanks.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            My point exactly.

          • I guess I am under the impression that is the role Posada is to fill, 4 out of their top 10 prospects are catchers and Posada still has time left on his contract. From what I hear, Montero is supposed to be legit so…

            I am an Astros fan, and I can see how most players/fans would love to have Lance on their team, but in the Bronx makes no sense in my opinion.

          • Posada only has one more year left on his contract post-2010. If Montero is indeed ready to get big league AB’s, he could easily split time with Posada at C.

          • I am a little confused as to what you are respnding to. I made that point already, that Posada is to fill the DH role, not a FA (unless a major injury) since he is still on the books till 2012. It’s a given that he will split time with prospects like Montero, or if Mauer hits the FA, NYY makes a run at him and probably parts ways with catching prospects and Posada still fills the DH role. So, not sure what you’re adding here.

          • The original point in the chain was how Berkman could be signed after this season to DH. You said Posada will be the DH since Montero will be ready. My reply was stating Berkman could DH, and Posada/Montero could split time behind the plate–as in, Posada would not be the main DH or C in 2012.

    • CosaOne 5 years ago

      Cant see him playing for the Yankees but i can easily see him playing for a different team besides the Astros. Its pretty easy to envision him wanting to go to a team that has a realistic shot at winning ESPECIALLY if the Astros decline his option. Id imagine Wade will want that extra money to sign some more middle relievers. Berkman could go to the Giants and make a big difference or possibly to the Cubs

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        The Cubs are out of money for a few seasons.

  3. fencepence 5 years ago

    There’s no way that Drayton McClane would let Berkman walk, he’s a Texas boy and a fan favorite.

  4. The Astros won’t decline his option.

    • lug 5 years ago

      Really? I can easily see them trying to get out from under that money. In fact doesn’t Houston have the ability to get out of a lot of money here soon? I would trade Berky at the deadline get some talent and try to get out from under Carlos Lee’s contract also (how many years left? that may be tough) and rebuild. I just do not see that team doing very welll this season. Sure they will hold on and be competitive but eventually come in second or third in the NL Central.

      I guess with this economy no option is safe, especially ones of the 14 or 15 million dollar variety. Would he get that on the open market? No. He is awesome though, even though I feel this way.

      • GoAstros00 5 years ago

        No berkman can still hit for good batting average. He has pretty good defense too. Here in houston he , along with oswalt, are astro icons. They won’t trade them. Lee is a maybe.

  5. BoDeGas 5 years ago

    He isn’t going anywhere, he’s one of the fan favorites. He is from Waco, Tx and played college ball in Houston, Tx for Rice. They will pick up the option and make an extention to his contract so that he retires as an Astro.

    Of course anyone would love to have Fat Elvis, that’s a no-brainer.

  6. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    I don’t know…first he’s talking about retirement, then it’s all about having his option picked up. Berk just needs to figure out what he really wants, then go for it.

    • Redbirds16 5 years ago

      It all sounds a bit dramatic to me. If your franchise player is making these kinds of statements, something’s not right in-house. Of course, everyone’s known that since the product they’ve put on the field has fallen flat over the last few years.

  7. Houston is a blackhole right now, no wonder the guy is confused. There is no end in sight to the quicksand of blown money in Houston. Same with Roy 0. It’s time for a legit overhaul instead of patching the sinking ship. Keep Berkman, Pence, Bourne… throw everyone else out to see and go big in next year’s FA and 2011.

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      Unfortunately, McLane would prefer to keep the team just good enough to be mediocre but never bad enough to rebuild & never really good enough to contend. That’s the worst place a team can possibly be as the draft picks do not garner much return.

  8. Ididyourmom2x 5 years ago

    I take him in heartbeet

    • jpfinest 5 years ago

      quick question the team option is void if his traded.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        That’s neither a question nor a complete sentence.

  9. Berkman isn’t going anywhere, unless he completely tanks out. In the unlikely scenario that were to happen, he would be hard pressed to find a team that would want him.

    • jpfinest 5 years ago

      maybe the astro trade him. they can get a lot for him i think.

  10. Ididyourmom2x 5 years ago

    Man I d luv to hav him on brave teem and crafts

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      “English, motherf*cker! Do you speak it?”

  11. MicKrup17 5 years ago

    They need to trade both he and Oswalt to restock their farm system. Trade Lee too if you can, you’re not going to win the Central anytime soon so its time the ‘stros looked to the future and build around guys like Pence and Castro.

  12. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Package berkman and oswalt to the mets and rape their farm. The mets get legit starter and 1st baseman, the astros get much needed prospects and salary relief

    • i miss brendan ryan's mustache 5 years ago

      Don’t they both have NTC’s??

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        Oswalt seemed pretty upset with the way the astros are going and that was evident with last years performance and some of the comments he made. I don’t think he will mind waiving his ntc.

        I doubt berkman really cares if that’s what the astros want.

        The astros are a hot mess, no minor league depth+ sub .500 major leaguers.. I don’t see much reason why they wouldn’t waive those NTC

        • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

          i would love to see the dodgers get oswalt. thats the move im hoping the dodgers make at the deadline.

        • jb226 5 years ago

          I agree they would probably waive their NTCs, but not to go to the Mets. That’s really not an improvement this year, and probably not for the life of their contracts either.

        • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

          Ferrariman = Tony Tag.

  13. raulllp 5 years ago

    Package berkman and oswalt to the mets and rape their farm. The mets get legit starter and 1st baseman, the astros get much needed prospects and salary relief

    What prospects could the mets offer for BOTH of them?

    • GoAstros00 5 years ago

      No. Berkman and oswalt stays. We just need to trade carlos lee.

  14. Suzysman 5 years ago

    “or possibly to the Cubs”

    Cubs are looking at about 100 Million tied up in Soriano, Zambrano, Ramirez, Fukudome, Dempster, Silva, Grabow and Byrd for 2011. That leaves something between 30-40 million to pay arbitration cases to Marmol, Theriot, Soto, Guzman and whoever is kept out of Fontenot/Baker/Blanco/Marshall/Gorselanny/Hill on top of whatever it will cost to fill the voids at 1B, up to two or three SP spots, a real 4th OF to back up the shaky-three and whatever they spend on the pen.

    People shouldnt count on them paying 10+ million to a 35+ year old 1B on a multi-year deal. The possibility of Vitters being ready sometime in 2011/2012 means either he or Ramirez (who shouldnt be expected to opt-out and likely a Cub through 2012) would be looked at for 1B sometime before too long making a short-term cheap deal much more likely.

    My guess is the team targets Lyle Overbay or Nick Johnson (if the Yanks dont pick up his option) as a shorterm replacement for Lee if Derrek isnt resigned on a one to two year deal. In 2012/2013 it would then be known if Vitters will need to play 1st or 3rd and the corresponding hole will be filled at that time.

    Now if the market is as weak as it looks like it might be then they may go 2/16 range to someone. If Berkman could be had for that, maybe it happens. Anything more and I think it should be considered unlikely – too much tied up already with too many areas to spend on.

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      People don’t realise what a bad financial situation the Cubs are in. As you mentioned, until several of those albatross contracts are off the books they have very little money to spend. One point I will take exception w/ is the hopes for Vitters. He has yet to prove he can play above the low minor leagues let alone be thought of as the future of any position at the major league level, let alone by next season.

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        oh, no, dont take my inclusion of his name in the teams plans to mean I expect him to ever even see the majors. In fact, see the “Will Aramis Ramirez Opt Out?” thread if you want to see me questioning him and my frustration at his currently being on a pace somewhere around the level of a Jeff Franqoeur with questionable D at Third if he even reaches that level :( But, he is expected to be ready sometime in the 2012/2013 range (possibly seeing some action in 2011) for either First or Third, and the team likely wont give a multi-year contract to a First Baseman because of that.

        But otherwise, yes, people just gloss over the massive amount of salary commitment we have and just expect us to be in on big names where the current roster construction just doesnt really fit such a path. We may get in on some names, but I cant imagine it will be anything like people expect. And if Hendry is finally gone (please, oh please!) then it will be even less likely we sign big names

  15. Guest 5 years ago

    Sounds like Berk wants out more than the Stros want him back. “Ill take my ball and go home”..honestly…? That your responds? Berkman, baseball is also a business, once again there is no crying in baseball!

  16. PDR297 5 years ago

    Just echoing what most others have said but there is no way Wade lets Berkman walk. I’d bet if Wade even suggests that to Drayton he’d get fired. Two year extension be damned. Berkman’s value is decent on the field these days. Not great, but respectable. His true value is in his marketing. Drayton will recoup that money in ticket sales alone by holding on to Berkman.

  17. optionn 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t pick up Berkman’s 15 million dollar option at his age. Let him walk. He will come back when he realizes nobody will pay him close to that.

  18. Guest 5 years ago

    I honestly feel that Drayton McLane doesn’t care about winning at all. He likes having good people and gentlemen on his team but he doesn’t seem to realize that his team does not have a great minor league system and the 2010 Astros are not great. If he realized that, he would focus on winning and trade the two.

    • GoAstros00 5 years ago

      No. We just need to trade carlos lee.

      • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

        No. They need to unload there veterans for prospects, because that farm system is pitiful.

        • danieljmeyer 5 years ago

          That farm system has 3 top 100 prospects according to ESPN and should get much deeper this year with the development of their 2009 class and 3 of the top 33 picks in the 2010 draft. The stros farm system isn’t nearly as baren as it was 3 years ago. There really is no need for a fire sale when you have Berkman, Oswalt, Pence, Bourn and Lee. They honestly just need to focus on drafting the best players on the board and getting some prospects with power, which the organization sorely lacks. If you unload anyone, it’s Lee and his disastrous contract. It’s widely accepted that Oswalt and Berkman have depreciated values given recent seasons, so it behooves Houston to hold onto them rather than trade them for less than market value.

  19. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    “McLane also noted that Berkman and Roy Oswalt are the heartbeat of the Astros.”

    Yea, and the Astros suck. Time for a transplant.

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