Report: Yankees on the verge of acquiring Lance Berkman

Lance Berkman (17) April 28th, 2010; Cincinnati Reds vs The Houston Astro's in Minute Maid Park, Houston Texas. The Astro's lost 6-4.

While an official announcement isn’t expected to come until Saturday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Yankees are on the verge of acquiring first baseman Lance Berkman from the Astros. (Joel Sherman of the New York Post posted the same report on his Twitter page.)

With Mark Teixeira entrenched at first base, Berkman would become the Yankees’ new DH for the stretch run. He would still have 24 hours to cancel any deal because he has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but one would assume that he would waive it in order to join a contender for the final two months of the season.

It’s unclear at this point what the Yankees would have to give up in a deal for Berkman, although prospects David Adams and Ivan Nova have each been mentioned in other trade scenarios. (Adams’ name was mentioned in the Cliff Lee deal before talks with the Mariners broke down.)

One interesting thing to note is that Alyson Footer, who is the Astros’ Sr. Director of Social Media, writes via Twitter that Berkman does not want the new team to pick up his $15 million option for 2011. It would appear as though he wants to return to the Astros next season.

Update: Sherman now says the deal is completed – Berkman is a Yankee.

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Lance Berkman willing to waive no-trade clause?

Long-time Astros first baseman Lance Berkman told the Houston Chronicle that he would be open to waiving his no-trade clause.

“As a player, if they came to me and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a deal to go to a contender,’ I’d take it. Heck, it’s only a three- or four-month deal. It’s not like I’m signing on for 10 years with another team.”

“I would say yeah,” Berkman said. “I think it would benefit the organization, and in the end, it would be a benefit for whoever it is — whether it’s me, or Roy (Oswalt) or Carlos. I’m not saying we’re at the point where they should start pulling the plug on us, but they need to start thinking forward. If this thing keeps going like this, they’ve gotta do something.

“If you’re running a team, you don’t want to get caught in baseball purgatory — where you’re not really getting young and you’re not really (competing). Where you’re in this deal where every year you’re signing a marginal veteran and you just never get in the mix.”

Berkman is in the final year of his contract, but the Astros hold a $15 million option for 2011. He has stated that he wants to retire a Stro, but you can’t fault him for wanting to have a shot to contend elsewhere. He’s at the end of his career and while his numbers are declining, he’s still a productive player – one that would benefit from being surrounded by better talent around him.

I wonder if a team like the Rangers would be a good fit. Justin Smoak isn’t even hitting his own weight right now, while Ryan Garko isn’t hitting Calista Flockhart’s weight. I won’t even begin to speculate what kind of a package Texas could put together in a trade for Berkman, but again, it would appear to be a nice fit for both parties.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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