A few weeks ago we heard that Lance Berkman was leaning towards retiring after the season, but yesterday he told Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is still "not real sure" about his future. He will file for free agency after the World Series just to keep his options open, however.
"I think it would behoove me to at least listen if there is an offer out there," said Berkman. "But honestly I don't know what is going to happen or what's going to be my thought process."
Berkman, 36, was limited to 97 plate appearances this season due to a pair of right knee surgeries, the fourth and fifth knee surgeries of his career. Just a year ago he hit .301/.412/.547 with 31 homers while starting over 120 games in the outfield with the Cardinals, good enough for a seventh place finish in the MVP voting.
There has been speculation that Berkman could return to the Astros as a DH next season since the club is shifting to the AL. He went to college in Houston and spent the first 12 years of his big league career with the 'Stros. Berkman recently said he won't come back unless his knee is 100% though, even if he is healthy enough to just DH.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said "it's hard to imagine finding a fit" for Berkman with the club next year, and Berkman admits that he has a long way to go with his conditioning before getting into playing shape. "My plan right now is to treat the offseason as if I was going to play next season by continuing my knee rehab and getting my legs back under me," he said.