Lance Berkman Rumors

Cardinals Notes: Lohse, Berkman, Kozma, Mozeliak

Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse is widely expected to be in for some massive offers when he hits the open market this winter and some agents and executives see him netting a C.J. Wilson-type deal in the $75MM range, according to Buster Olney of (via Twitter).  Cards General Manager John Mozeliak spoke to reporters about Lohse and more earlier today.  Let's check out some highlights, courtesy of Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch..

  • Mozeliak said that "it's hard to imagine finding a fit" for Lance Berkman on the roster in 2013.  The veteran is considering retirement after undergoing knee surgery but says he may also like to hook on with a contender for next season.
  • Former first-round pick Pete Kozma was considered for removal from the 40-man roster several times throughout the season, Goold writes.  However, after starting the final 29 games of the regular season and all 13 playoff games, St. Louis won't face that same quandary this winter.
  • The Cardinals will be looking for a new bullpen coach after notifying Dyar Miller that his contract won't be renewed for next season.  All of the other coaches – including hitting coach Mark McGwire, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, and third-base coach Jose Oquendo – will be offered the chance to return.

Cardinals Notes: Beltran, Berkman, Mozeliak

The Cardinals have taken homefield advantage in the NLCS, as they will host the next three games against the Giants beginning with Wednesday's Game Three.  Kyle Lohse will start for the Cards against Giants ace Matt Cain, a matchup that is also tentatively lined up for a possible seventh game between the two clubs.  Here's the latest from St. Louis…

  • Dan Lozano, Carlos Beltran's agent, says he kept his client "informed step by step" of negotiations with the Giants last winter, reports John Shea and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The facts are, they never made us an offer, and we never talked money or years," Lozano said. "They put us in a holding pattern until they knew if they were going to pull off the [Angel Pagan] trade or not." Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans told Shea yesterday that the team had several conversations with Lozano about Beltran last offseason, discussing contract details but without making a formal offer.
  • Lance Berkman won't make a decision about his playing future until February, reports B.J. Rains of (Twitter link). Berkman said he'll listen to offers from other teams but is looking to play for a contender and for a decent salary: "If it's Seattle for $500K, then no." The veteran seemed to be hinting at retirement earlier this season and already some post-career plans lined up as a student and assistant baseball coach at Rice University.
  • In recent years, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak tells's Anthony Castrovince that he has put more focus on personal character when acquiring new players. "Back in 2010, we really felt we had to change the makeup of our clubhouse," Mozeliak said. "We brought in guys like [Ryan] Theriot, [Gerald] Laird, Berkman. It just brought a level of professionalism and fun to our clubhouse….When you're young in this job, the first thing you're looking at is talent first. Then you realize it's got to be a tight-knit group for long-term success."
  • Seventeen of the 25 players on the Cards' postseason roster were fully developed within the team's own minor league system, a testament to the Cardinals' minor league development process, writes's Jenifer Langosch.  "For us it's the way we can have sustained success," Mozeliak said. "Strategically, we understood years ago that we had to produce players internally to be successful. That's not to say that we won't go to the free-agent market and that we can't augment that way, but it does not have to be our oxygen to survive."

Quick Hits: Baker, Varitek, LaHair, Padres, Berkman

Reds manager Dusty Baker suffered a minor stroke on Friday, the team told reporters (including's Mark Sheldon).  Baker was already in hospital being treated for an irregular heartbeat and was supposed to be released on Friday.  The 63-year-old was released instead on Sunday and is reportedly in good condition, addressing the Reds clubhouse this afternoon.  Bench coach Chris Speier has managed the team in Baker's absence and will continue to do so at least through Cincinnati's weekend series with the Pirates, though Baker is hopeful of returning for the Reds' final series of the year.

Here's some more news from around the baseball world…

Berkman Discusses Potential DH Role

Late last month we heard that Lance Berkman was leaning towards calling it career after the season, but that does not mean his decision is final yet. The currently injured Cardinal spoke to Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch about potentially coming back next year as a DH with an AL club (Sulia link).

"I wouldn't want to just limp around as a DH," said Berkman, who continues to battle knee problems. "If I can't get [my knee] back pretty close to where it's 100 percent, I'm not going to fool with it."

There has been some speculation that the 36-year-old Berkman could join the Astros and fill their DH spot next season after they move into the AL. He came up with Houston in 1999 and remained there until the 2010 trade deadline, when they traded him to the Yankees as part of their rebuilding effort. Berkman has played just 31 games this year due to continued knee issues, which have hampered him for years.

Central Links: Berkman, Reds, Span, Twins

Some links pertaining to baseball's two central divisions, as the White Sox and Tigers square off in the first game of a pivotal four-game series…

Quick Hits: Berkman, Nationals, Royals, Pagan

The Orioles drew first blood in their big four-game series with the Yankees, slugging six homers en route to a 10-6 victory.  Mark Reynolds hit two home runs, and has now enjoyed three multi-homer games against New York within the span of a week.  Baltimore is now tied with the Yankees atop the AL East.

Here's some news from around baseball…

  • If Lance Berkman retires, he tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports Houston that he intends to finish his degree at Rice and be an assistant coach for the school's baseball team.  Berkman said he is still leaning towards retirement but is focused on the Cardinals right now and will save a final decision under the offseason.
  • Between Bryce Harper's play in center field and new leadoff hitter Jayson Werth's performance (a 1.014 OPS in 14 games as the leadoff man entering tonight's action), Amanda Comak of the Washington Times wonders if the Nationals may not need to focus on these long-time problems areas this offseason. 
  • The Royals should re-sign Jeremy Guthrie to a two-year, $15MM contract and non-tender Luke Hochevar, opines Rany Jazayerli of Rany On The Royals.  Jazayerli believes Guthrie would pitch well in the AL Central while Hochevar hasn't been able to translate his decent advanced metrics into on-the-field success.
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron cites Angel Pagan as "the most underrated player in baseball."  Pagan has a .284/.336/.430 line with eight homers, 78 runs scored and 23 steals for the Giants this season.  He is also a free agent this winter, and compares well with bigger-name free agent center fielders like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton.
  • Players and owners aren't close to a decision about limiting September roster sizes, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  We heard earlier this week that MLB was looking to change the rules for next season, but Rosenthal reports that since different teams deal with the September rosters in different ways, some clubs aren't willing to commit to the players' demands for minimum number of active roster spots for each game.

Lance Berkman Leaning Towards Retirement

It has been an injury-plagued season for Lance Berkman, who re-signed with the Cardinals last winter after hitting .301/.412/.547 and drawing MVP votes while helping St. Louis to the World Series in 2011. The 36-year-old slugger told Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that right now he's leaning towards hanging up his spikes after the season… 

"I don't want to rule anything out," said Berkman. "But if you asked me right now I'm leaning toward not playing next year. I don't want to say for certain because I don't want to do like Brett Favre and say, 'I retired; I'm not retired; I'm retired; I'm not retired.' I don't want to make that call right now, but if you put a gun to my head and demand an answer today I would tell you I'm probably not going to play next year."

Berkman is currently on a minor league rehab assignment in advance of rejoining the big league team in September. He's rehabbing from a right knee injury that required surgery earlier this season and was then re-aggravated on a hit-by-pitch. In 90 plate appearances this year, Berkman has put together a .267/.389/.467 batting line with two homers. He's admitted to considering retirement at several times in the past.

NL Central Notes: Berkman, Cubs, Lucroy, Astros

The light-hitting Pirates again didn't generate much offense on Friday, scoring just one run against the Cubs.  Fortunately for the Bucs, that lone run was all they needed — five Pittsburgh hurlers (started off by A.J. Burnett's scoreless 5 1/3 frames) combined to shut out Chicago in a 1-0 result.  The Cubs have now suffered 10 consecutive losses.

Here's the latest from around the division…

Latest On Lance Berkman

FRIDAY: The Cardinals announced that Berkman will likely miss eight to ten weeks after undergoing surgery for meniscus and cartilage tears today, Jon Heyman of tweets. Berkman could return this season if all goes well despite talk of an earlier-than-expected retirement.

MONDAY: It appears that Lance Berkman suffered a torn ACL in his right knee Saturday, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. An MRI will take place today to confirm the early diagnosis. The injury could end Berkman's season and has the veteran switch-hitter considering retirement.

Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter provide the Cardinals with a pair of internal options at first base. Adams had a .340/.375/.603 batting line at Triple-A before getting called up this weekend and Carpenter has a .280/.345/.500 through 113 plate appearances as a corner infielder and outfielder with the Cardinals this year. Allen Craig could also play first base once he returns from the disabled list,'s Buster Olney notes.

Berkman, 36, will earn $12MM in 2012 before hitting free agency this offseason. He is a client of Moye Sports Associates.

Lance Berkman Considering Retirement

WEDNESDAY: Earlier this week, Lance Berkman learned that he likely suffered a torn ACL and the veteran acknowledged that he might not look to come back after the surgery, writes David Dalati of

"I think the decision of whether I want to continue playing or not I would want to make in the offseason. It's just one of those things…you realize you can't play forever. Certainly when you get to be my age and you suffer a significant injury it can help push you out the door. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't at least considering that possibility," Berkman said.

SUNDAY: The Cardinals and Lance Berkman have yet to disclose specifics about an injury caused by Berkman stretching for a routine throw from Rafael Furcal, but the veteran is unsure about his future as he awaits MRI results, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"You think about it when you have a potentially major surgery at this stage of your career. But, again, right now we don't know what it is. But it gives you pause," the first baseman said. "I don't think it's one of those deals where you sit out a week and see where your are. I think it's much more serious than that."

Berkman, 36, added that he wouldn't automatically call it a career if he has re-torn his ACL and that he is hopeful that he will be able to bounce back from his injury.  The veteran is earning $12MM this season but has appeared in just 13 games thus far.

For his career, Berkman owns a .296/.409/.546 slash line across 14 seasons and has earned more than $102MM in total, according to Baseball-Reference.