MLB trade rumours reports:
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.
Yes he’s a bit older and there has been zero indication that Berkman would be interested in heading to Toronto but if I were Alex Anthopoulos I’d be intrigued at the possibility of adding a professional hitter like Lance Berkman. A switch hitter who would slot perfectly into the DH role currently held by Adam Lind (or Edwin Encarnacion).
He could still play a bit of firstbase and he has proven he can still be productive when healthy. In 2011 he slashed 301/412/547 with 31 HRs in 587 PAs. In 2012 he was injured for the majority of the season but still slashed a respectable 259/381/444.
Berkman has patience, can hit for power and again if healthy would add some serious depth to what is already shaping up to be a very solid batting lineup. If he’s available and wouldn’t mind a one-year deal at a reasonable number he could make the Blue Jays lineup deadly.