Rays, Phillies, Astros, Red Sox Interested In Berkman

The Rays, Astros, Phillies and Red Sox are all in "tire-kicking" mode on Lance Berkman, tweets Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle (hat tip: Alex Speier of WEEI.com).

Until this point, the Astros are the only team that has been largely connected to Berkman this offseason. Astros owner Jim Crane had a "get-acquainted" meeting with Berkman recently, and Big Puma expressed interest in returning to Houston where his career began. In that interview, Berkman said he wanted to be paid like a Major League three-hole hitter, though he'd take a bit of a discount for the Astros.

The Phillies presumably have visions of Berkman seeing some time on the field as a first baseman or outfielder. The same could be said for the Red Sox, who recently re-signed David Ortiz to a two-year contract. The Rays and Astros could both elect to use Berkman as their primary DH, with no concrete incumbent in place for either organization.

Berkman hit .259/.381/.444 in 97 plate appearances for the Cardinals in 2012 but was hobbled by a pair of knee surgeries. He's a career .296/.409/.544 hitter with 360 homers between the Astros, Yankees and Cardinals.


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