Berkman Names Interested Teams

Add the Cardinals, Pirates, and Blue Jays to the list of teams known to have at least kicked the tires on free agent Lance Berkman.  The first baseman/outfielder named those suitors in a conversation with Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle recently.  Berkman had already referenced the Athletics, Cubs, and Rockies in a November 23rd Ken Rosenthal article.  Berkman said at the time that eight teams had checked in.  The Astros don't have a spot for him, and the Rangers won't unless Vladimir Guerrero departs.

Berkman told Rosenthal he won't rule out a full-time DH job like the one the A's have open, but he'd prefer to return to the National League as a first baseman/outfielder.  Berkman plans to re-establish himself in 2011, blaming his power decline on his injured knee.

Berkman, who struggles against lefties, doesn't seem to be the ideal match for the Pirates.  Back in September, GM Neal Huntington talked about adding a right-handed first base bat who beats up on southpaws.  On the other hand, the Pirates aren't necessarily committed to Garrett Jones and that plan.  The Cardinals would be one club that could only offer an outfield corner for Berkman.  The Blue Jays have a crowded outfield but could use Berkman at first base or DH depending on where they like Adam Lind.


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110 Comments on "Berkman Names Interested Teams"


AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs
4 years 9 months ago

What about the Dodgers? They need more production at first base since Loney is essentially another Lyle Overbay.

GeauxBigBlue
4 years 9 months ago

At least Loney can play first base and hit a dinger. Overbay can’t find firstbase half the time. Loney Kemp and Ethier aren’t leaving DodgerTown anytime soon and i hope they don’t.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

lol serious? ? … this is probably the first time I’ll ever stick up for Overbay, but Loney has never hit more then 15 HR’s.. Overbay has never hit less unless he missed times due to injury. Overbay gets on base more as well.

deere5800
4 years 9 months ago

Not to mention Overbay is one hell of a good first baseman

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

meh, used to be one.

deere5800
4 years 9 months ago

Not to mention Overbay is one hell of a good first baseman

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

lol serious? ? … this is probably the first time I’ll ever stick up for Overbay, but Loney has never hit more then 15 HR’s.. Overbay has never hit less unless he missed times due to injury. Overbay gets on base more as well.

Jason_F
4 years 9 months ago

You must’ve crawled into a hole for the past year or so. Here, let me help you get up to speed…Loney is a no power first baseman with a negative career UZR/150 who the Dodgers are looking to replace this offseason with someone who CAN actually “hit a dinger.” Kemp had a season in which he put up 0.4 WAR thanks to horrific fielding numbers and high strikeout totals, not to mention there have been whispers of trade rumors swirling around him for a few months now. Ethier is the only one of the three that should inspire the kind of confidence you have in this trio and even his year wasn’t that great. He started off hot as hell, but from May 31st on, he produced a .748 OPS.

bbxxj
4 years 9 months ago

I think he does fit really well with the Pirates. Jones can very easily be put in a RF platoon with a right hander like Milledge or made a bench bat or trade boat as he is really a fringe starter anyways.He would get as much playing time as he wants at first in Pit and the Pirates could really use is OBP and whatever power is left in the middle of their lineup.

4 years 9 months ago

My money is on the Rangers, I don’t see them giving Guerrero more than a one year deal, he is a DH only, just makes sense. Berkman, needs a personal trainer, and actually bust his ass for once, instead of just loafing and living off his natural ability. Maybe the power would come back. He could play the outfield and first base for them as well.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

Just picturing Lance Berkman laying on the sidewalk…..GMs kicking him in the side to “kick the tires”…..he’s laying there and looks up wondering why the Pirates GM is kicking him so hard.

Lance Berkman is the 70’s Oldsmobile of free agency.

gocrazy
4 years 9 months ago

I’m surprised to see Cardinals on there.

Spicol
4 years 9 months ago

An overweight and aging baseball player is developing knee problems?!?

*gasp*

Unless it’s one-year deal for no more than mid 7-digits, stay away pls, Blue Jays.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

I’d take a pass on him regardless… If he ends up not being able to hit lefties and Lind doesn’t have a better 2011 with lefties, you could end up with you 1b/dh combo being useless in the AL east

deere5800
4 years 9 months ago

Pretty sure it’s just AA’s policy of checking on every player and his mother…and dog

deere5800
4 years 9 months ago

Pretty sure it’s just AA’s policy of checking on every player and his mother…and dog

4 years 9 months ago

Wouldn’t be too upset seeing him as a poor man’s Dunn in DC, although I have no real concept of his defensive value. Nats will need to do something to replace the offense they’ll lose with Dunn being gone, assuming that comes to pass as expected.

Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Berkman’s still a good defensive first baseman. He posted a 6.5 UZR/150 last year between the Astros and the Yankees, and he posted a 12.4 only two years ago. He’s also played at a 3.1 mark there for his career. Idk if he’ll ever be the player he once was in Houston, but if he’s as healthy as he claims to be, then I think he’s as likely to have a bounceback year next season as anyone. I think he’d be a great fit in DC hitting behind Zimmerman and Willingham, and provide some leadership that I’d assume ya’ll could use (being a relatively young team)

And for what it’s worth, he posted a UZR/150 of 17.6 in LF in 2003, when he saw his most significant amount of playing time in the OF (according to Fangraphs, which doesn’t record numbers before 2002). Jeff Bagwell was out for good in 2004, so that’s when the Astros began transitioning Berkman over to 1B. Granted, that number is from 2003, but he wasn’t ever as bad of a fielder as he’s made out to be. His numbers in the OF since then are below average, but he only saw limited action out there since 2004. You can take that for what you will, but if he is completely healthy again, then sticking him in LF next year may not be as absurd as you might think. But health is a big deal w/ him, obviously

oremlk
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah, he’s showing his age a little bit but he still makes Dunn look pants on head retarded in the field by comparison.

4 years 9 months ago

Yankee fan here. What I noticed at the end of the season was still good to above avg defensively. Improved hitting lefty after he got here albeit without alot of power. bat speed hitting righty was not good. Don’t know if its the knee, rust, or age.

oremlk
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah, he’s showing his age a little bit but he still makes Dunn look pants on head retarded in the field by comparison.

4 years 9 months ago

“Jeff Bagwell was out for good in 2004, so that’s when the Astros began transitioning Berkman over to 1B.”

2005. Bagwell played almost every game at 1B in 2004.

Guest
4 years 9 months ago

My bad, good call. It’s a been a while since then

Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Berkman’s still a good defensive first baseman. He posted a 6.5 UZR/150 last year between the Astros and the Yankees, and he posted a 12.4 only two years ago. He’s also played at a 3.1 mark there for his career. Idk if he’ll ever be the player he once was in Houston, but if he’s as healthy as he claims to be, then I think he’s as likely to have a bounceback year next season as anyone. I think he’d be a great fit in DC hitting behind Zimmerman and Willingham, and provide some leadership that I’d assume ya’ll could use (being a relatively young team)

And for what it’s worth, he posted a UZR/150 of 17.6 in LF in 2003, when he saw his most significant amount of playing time in the OF (according to Fangraphs, which doesn’t record numbers before 2002). Jeff Bagwell was out for good in 2004, so that’s when the Astros began transitioning Berkman over to 1B. Granted, that number is from 2003, but he wasn’t ever as bad of a fielder as he’s made out to be. His numbers in the OF since then are below average, but he only saw limited action out there since 2004. You can take that for what you will, but if he is completely healthy again, then sticking him in LF next year may not be as absurd as you might think. But health is a big deal w/ him, obviously

eviola1
4 years 9 months ago

You’re way out to lunch if you think Overbay is a bad defensive first basemen.

rockfordone
4 years 9 months ago

White Sox??? Paulie and him 1B and DH split time – Contract 1yr 1.5M

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

Depends on how much Berkman likes his manager screaming 4-letter expletives at him in Spanish.

Man I love me some Ozzie!

Someone will give him more than 1.5 though.

Just don’t see Konerko taking the short end of a platoon split. It’d really test his loyalty to Reinsdorf.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

Depends on how much Berkman likes his manager screaming 4-letter expletives at him in Spanish.

Man I love me some Ozzie!

Someone will give him more than 1.5 though.

Just don’t see Konerko taking the short end of a platoon split. It’d really test his loyalty to Reinsdorf.

rockfordone
4 years 9 months ago

White Sox??? Paulie and him 1B and DH split time – Contract 1yr 1.5M

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

A pseudo-contender like the Jays can’t have on-the-job training in the majors for a guy like Lind, who has even LESS success against lefties than Overbay–along with college-level defense.

Combine that with zero vacancies in the outfield and Lind is trade bait, IMO.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

1 year removed from an incredible year..and having a very tough 2010 campaign, you would be selling low on Lind… which doesn’t really make senseIf the Jays survived with Delgado’s defense they will survive with Lind at 1B, being in the field will also help get his bat back on track.

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

I agree you’re selling somewhat low, and I like Linds’ bat- but if you’re Toronto you can’t afford to have a ‘maybe’ in the infield, especially when you’re trying to make hay in that division….an upgrade is needed at first base, not status quo. That eliminates Lind, for me, outside of lefty DH or spot duty in the field.

Maybe Milwaukee is the place to shop again…..Prince Fielder, with his .997 in the field and obvious offense (garbage-bag-full-of-yogurt physique aside) is likely in play if Melvin can’t get a long-term deal done soon….

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Just answer me this… Was his defensive questions an issue after he tore through the league in 2009??? you only question moving him because of how bad he was in 2010. So his defense comes in to play or his overall worth..

His contract is reasonable. It’s worth it to let him improve his stock, maybe then you trade him. but not now, you’ll get nothing back.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Just answer me this… Was his defensive questions an issue after he tore through the league in 2009??? you only question moving him because of how bad he was in 2010. So his defense comes in to play or his overall worth..

His contract is reasonable. It’s worth it to let him improve his stock, maybe then you trade him. but not now, you’ll get nothing back.

4 years 9 months ago

The Jays are not really set to contend in 2011 anyways. Wouldn’t you rather see what you have in Lind at 1b? (sure, it would have been nice to figure that out last August/September….)

HerbertAnchovy
4 years 9 months ago

Making a trade for a year of Fielder would be a bad move. It also goes against everything AA has been building for.

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

I agree you’re selling somewhat low, and I like Linds’ bat- but if you’re Toronto you can’t afford to have a ‘maybe’ in the infield, especially when you’re trying to make hay in that division….an upgrade is needed at first base, not status quo. That eliminates Lind, for me, outside of lefty DH or spot duty in the field.

Maybe Milwaukee is the place to shop again…..Prince Fielder, with his .997 in the field and obvious offense (garbage-bag-full-of-yogurt physique aside) is likely in play if Melvin can’t get a long-term deal done soon….

TheodoreRoosevelt
4 years 9 months ago

Surely if the Jays are *pseudo*-contenders, then on-the-job training is exactly what they can and should do.

I remember one of the Jays being interviewed, may have been Overbay, who said that 1B is the one position on the field for which anyone can be trained to do to a reasonably competent level. I think Lind has college experience there, too. No reason why he can’t be a serviceable 1B, and it would certainly improve his trade value and team value. Well worth trying.

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

I only refer to them in the ‘pseudo’ sense if they go half-assed at replacing Overbay. Lind is not a proven first baseman- again, LOVE the bat. But when you have a team in the FOURTH-BIGGEST television market ( read:revenues!!) in North America, you don’t band-aid a corner position with a guy who can’t even play the outfield regularly!!

The Jays have NO reason not to look at packaging Lind+prospect(s) to land a big fish, via any route. Again, I like Lind. But NOT at 1B for 162 games. That’s not how teams make up ground in the AL East, and Anthopoulos is admitting as much by not committing to Linds’ role next year.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

a) in 2009 Lind alone would have brought back a nice piece, why package him off now and piece him off at a lower value?b) What does him not playing the outfield regularly have to do with his capabilities to play first base? Are you insinuating that a good first baseman would be able to be a corner outfielder as well? Because atleast 25 current 1st baseman disagree with that.

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

Again- I like his bat, but why wouldn’t the Jays try to improve on their situation in the infield….Lind wasn’t drafted as an infielder, has started only 8 games in 5 years at 1B, and this organization doesn’t have to settle for such a risky move.

Also- the Jays have questions at 2B AND 3B ( assuming Bautista stays in right with his cannon, and Hill moves his range issues to 3rd) so why handcuff yourself by adding another HUGE element of risk before the season even starts??

Either way, the winter meetings should be interesting-

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Lind played 1B in college. He was never given an opportunity to play 1B because Overbay was there and fine defensively. Now he’s gone and its time for him to re adjust himself to that position.Not to mention if you trade him now before he establishes himself as atleast an average defender, you are limiting his trade market to the AL only

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

Last thoughts on this one…..I appreciate your views, BTW…..I heartily agree that this is not the optimum time to move a guy like Lind, but this IS the off-season. Most reputable GMS don’t coast into late-February without finding ways to plug holes for the coming season, and Anthopoulos is no loafer, that’s for sure!!! LOL

If Lind can’t play (and no one would wager a car payment that he will ), this team will find itself scrambling for defense into the month of May–with no back-up plan that could have been addressed in December–and flounder. THEN you overpay for an established roster player elsewhere. This is the way of small-market and/or rudderless clubs, and there’s no excuse for it if you’re trying to win. Toronto has NO budget constraints, and has built a good stable of prospects. It’s time for Rogers Corp to stop acting small-market, and get aggressive on bringing in higher-dollar talent.

Think more Beltre or Fielder types, less Manny/Berkman/Overbay band-aids…….that’s where guys like Lind/Zach Stewart/Gose/Marcum/Etchevarria come in- gotta give something to get something.

FriedCalamari
4 years 9 months ago

Jays are not ready to be signing those big FAs yet. We’ve only had AA for one draft so far. Give the Jays sometime to fully restock the farm so that it’s overflowing with talent at every position, which I’m sure AA and the FO is capable of now. I think you are under the impression that the Jays are right there knocking on Boston’s, New York’s, and Tampa’s door…. but we’re just not there yet to “go for it”, granted we are getting close^^! Give Lind a shot at 1B this season, Jays are still growing as a team no need to rush. Albeit if AA believes at the deadline that the Jays can make a push for the playoffs he will do what’s necessary, as he’s mentioned before.

FriedCalamari
4 years 9 months ago

Jays are not ready to be signing those big FAs yet. We’ve only had AA for one draft so far. Give the Jays sometime to fully restock the farm so that it’s overflowing with talent at every position, which I’m sure AA and the FO is capable of now. I think you are under the impression that the Jays are right there knocking on Boston’s, New York’s, and Tampa’s door…. but we’re just not there yet to “go for it”, granted we are getting close^^! Give Lind a shot at 1B this season, Jays are still growing as a team no need to rush. Albeit if AA believes at the deadline that the Jays can make a push for the playoffs he will do what’s necessary, as he’s mentioned before.

HerbertAnchovy
4 years 9 months ago

I would much rather try Lind out at 1B regularly than have him DH’ing.

TheodoreRoosevelt
4 years 9 months ago

Surely if the Jays are *pseudo*-contenders, then on-the-job training is exactly what they can and should do.

I remember one of the Jays being interviewed, may have been Overbay, who said that 1B is the one position on the field for which anyone can be trained to do to a reasonably competent level. I think Lind has college experience there, too. No reason why he can’t be a serviceable 1B, and it would certainly improve his trade value and team value. Well worth trying.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

I love the Jays pitching. But it’s hard to call anyone a contender in that beast of a division. The Jays might finish 2011 with a record good enough to win either the Central or the West and still not sniff 2nd place.

It’ll be tough waiting around for the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays to implode.

eviola1
4 years 9 months ago

There are question marks all over those supposed BIG 3 atop the AL East. Don’t rule out the Jays hopping over the Rays, even the Red Sox next year.

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 9 months ago

With the talent that the Rays are most likely losing to FA I would not be surprised to see them at the bottom of the AL east. Yankees, Boston, and Toronto will compete for the top 3 and Baltimore could be a surprise if they play to their potential.

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

I completely agree about the Jays coming on in the next few seasons. Their pitching depth is very good. I just was meaning to say that the division is a little bit beyond what they decide to do within their own organization.

I won’t call it luck, but they are going to have to catch New York and Boston in a slump. The Rays are probably going down on their own. The Jays are just going to have to peak at the right moment.

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 9 months ago

I see the Rays imploding this year. The Yankees will follow in 2012 with Jeter, Riveria, A-rod, Teixeria among others all soon to being locked in contract wise and steadily declining in production. It also doesn’t help that the Yankees do not seem to care about their draft choices because they lose them every year with FA signings. The Red Sox could be around for a bit but I would not be surprised to see the Jays top two in the AL East at the end of 2011 in their “building” year.

4 years 9 months ago

i can see a nice Lind-Berkman rotation between 1B and DH. no need to have either one locked into a position. Berkman will need days off as an older player, and in that time Lind can polish himself into an everyday 1B for 2012. seems like it could be a good fit if the Jays arent sure about putting Lind at 1B as a baptism by fire kind of situation.

the question is: how long do you sign Berkman for??

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

1 year max

4 years 9 months ago

yeah thats my thinking too… but what does that make our chances of actually signing him?? someones bound to offer 2 years.

then again we can offer him a starters role with at least half his starts in the field, which he wants apparently.

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 9 months ago

I think Lind will be fine at 1st base, he is young and motivated to find himself a everyday fielding role. Signing Berkman for the Jays would be an insurance policy on Lind/DH/Corner OF. I watched Lind at first this season and he looked good, why not give him a shot.

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

A pseudo-contender like the Jays can’t have on-the-job training in the majors for a guy like Lind, who has even LESS success against lefties than Overbay–along with college-level defense.

Combine that with zero vacancies in the outfield and Lind is trade bait, IMO.

MiltonMan
4 years 9 months ago

A pseudo-contender like the Jays can’t have on-the-job training in the majors for a guy like Lind, who has even LESS success against lefties than Overbay–along with college-level defense.

Combine that with zero vacancies in the outfield and Lind is trade bait, IMO.

MSUCorner
4 years 9 months ago

I think the mariners could use a 1st baseman/DH until smoak is ready to play everyday. They are short at LF too. However, berkman would be a serious liability in safeco at left.

eviola1
4 years 9 months ago

Naw Mariners are in rebuilding mode. 5-10 years before they do anything.

MSUCorner
4 years 9 months ago

They claim that they are on track to make a run by 2012. But who knows. I just see berkman at 2 years with incentives makes sense if their goal is to be ready by 2012. He gives them some much needed veteran leadership too. The M’s have no leader right now.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

They better start building an offense now.. Felix isn’t going to be there forever.

MSUCorner
4 years 9 months ago

They claim that they are on track to make a run by 2012. But who knows. I just see berkman at 2 years with incentives makes sense if their goal is to be ready by 2012. He gives them some much needed veteran leadership too. The M’s have no leader right now.

MSUCorner
4 years 9 months ago

I think the mariners could use a 1st baseman/DH until smoak is ready to play everyday. They are short at LF too. However, berkman would be a serious liability in safeco at left.

SteelCityResident13
4 years 9 months ago

I have been talking for a couple weeks now about how Berkman would be great in the middle of the lineup for the Buccos. Two players who are already power lefties, adding another switch hitter to the lineup would be a great fit. Huntington, you said you are serious about spending this off-season; here is your chance to make a huge splash in free agency, on a player who will easily help our team, and on impressing the Bucco faithful.

McCutchen, Tabata, Walker, Alvarez, Berkman, Jones, Doumit/Snyder, Cedeno, Pitcher

^^^ Still young, but can be capable of doing damage.

Nowwww, LOL all we need is a pitcher who can get some hitters out, or atleast dont give up piss rods against our defense.

And please, do not sign De La Rosa, he is not worth the money. Take a chance on a couple players coming off of injury and hope they workout. Its not like 2011 is a playoff year for us, but if they have good years we can trade them at the deadline for some great talent that can help us in 2012-beyond.

eviola1
4 years 9 months ago

Nooo Pirates are supposed to do nothing as usual and remain a terrible team. What are you talking about here?

RepOak
4 years 9 months ago

Haha that was exactly what I was thinking. U beat me to it!!

RepOak
4 years 9 months ago

Haha that was exactly what I was thinking. U beat me to it!!

eviola1
4 years 9 months ago

Nooo Pirates are supposed to do nothing as usual and remain a terrible team. What are you talking about here?

4 years 9 months ago

Defense is one thing that Overbay has. Anyone claiming otherwise has never seen him play regularly.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

His defense slipped considerably last year. He’s not the stud he used to be

4 years 9 months ago

maybe his defence slipped on throws from third base

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t buy that as an excuse, I really don’t see a huge difference defensively from to Rolen to Encarnacion

Red_Line_9
4 years 9 months ago

wow. Encarnacion’s defense even SOUNDS bad on the radio!

eviola1
4 years 9 months ago

Hope that’s a joke.

grownice
4 years 9 months ago

come on now… rolen or encarnacion lol rolen makes encarnacion look like a little leaguer defensively.

4 years 9 months ago

he had six errors last year. three being in one game, on one play if i recall correctly. i think hes still got it.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Its hard to analyze a first baseman on errors. 9/10 out of 10 they are going to give the error to the thrower not the receiver.

Ian_Smell
4 years 9 months ago

Please come to the Pirates. I promise to buy your jersey the day you sign.

Ian_Smell
4 years 9 months ago

Please come to the Pirates. I promise to buy your jersey the day you sign.

RepOak
4 years 9 months ago

I dont know why anyone would even consider going to the pirates. The A’s make Alot of sence. None of their outfielders are 100% healthy. Sweeney coming off knee surgery, crisp shoulder surgery, conor Jackson still rehabing injury, rajai gone. Berkman will actually get some playing time in the outfield. And I think he knows that. Throw him in as a DH and take first on daric’s days off. He will be happy. I’m sure he wants to join a team that might at least have a playoff shot next season. With him and another bat. That is very possible.