The Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays , Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles , Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers have all expressed interest in free agent Lance Berkman at various times this off-season.
The New York Yankees also have interest in Berkman. Berkman was with the Yankees briefly in 2011.
The Rangers are said to be looking for a DH and Ryan as stated that Berkman would fit that bill.
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow stated that he continues a dialogue with Berkman that extends back to last November and remains hopeful of persuading Berkman to return to Houston, although cost could be a factor.
Speaking about a possible new team, Berkman said, “In a way they have to talk me out of retirement and I know that sounds crass — I wish it didn’t – but it’s a big commitment. It can put a strain on the family. If I’m going to play, I’m going to give my heart and soul to the team. But if the carrot’s not big enough, the mule isn’t going to want to go.”
That statement would all but rule out the Rays and the Astros.
Signing Berkman may prove to be cost prohibitive for both.
Berkman spent much of 2012 sidelined with aching knee injuries, and hit .259/.381/.444 in just under 100 plate appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Presumably Berkman would help fill that void.
Berkman is a Texas native which would seemingly put the Rangers and the Astros in a more advantageous position over the other interested teams.