Asked whether he could picture himself returning to the Yankees in a platoon role next year, Lance Berkman couldn't see it happening, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork. Berkman tells Kristie Ackert, Sean Brennan, and Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News that he still views himself as an everyday player.
"I don't like to platoon," said Berkman. "If I was the manager I would platoon me because I've been so bad righthanded this year. But I don't think that's a permanent problem.... I like to play every day. The DH role is great but I also like to play the field. I feel like I've got something to offer still defensively."
Berkman is in the final year of a six-year, $85MM contract, which includes a $15MM option for 2011 that will not be exercised. After posting the worst full-season OPS of his career (.781), the long-time Astro knows that his disappointing walk year hasn't set him up well for free agency.
"It's going to be an interesting offseason for me because I don't know what the interest level is going to be like," Berkman said. "I don't know what the market is going to be for a 35-year old coming off the worst year of his career."
While this winter's first base free agent market appears flush with potential starters, there are also plenty of clubs that will have holes to fill at first. Coming off a season that was plagued by injuries, Berkman is a decent bet to bounce back in 2011. If he wants an everyday job and a chance to play the field, there's a good chance there will be at least one team willing to accommodate him.