Sherman: Yanks ‘definitely in’ on Berkman


In the halcyon days of just this morning, Joe explored why the Yanks should consider Lance Berkman for the DH spot. This afternoon, Joel Sherman confirms the team’s interest. The Yankees, he says, are “definitely in for Lance Berkman” and are “considering him seriously.” Of course, when it comes to July 31, “definitely” has a way of becoming less so, but this is one deal that just might have some legs. Berkman has a no-trde clause but is willing to waive it for the Yanks. No word yet on the Astros’ demands, but keep in mind that Berkman is owed a little less than $7 million this year with a $15 million club option for 2011 or a $2 million buyout.

Because of Berkman’s high salary, Jayson Stark believes the Astros slugger would clear waivers in August. Therefore, if Berkman is not dealt this weekend, he still could be moved within the next few weeks. (For what it’s worth, in the same notebook, Stark mentions Yankee interest in Jake Westbrook. The Indians’ pitcher will probably stay put though.)

Updated (4:15 p.m.): Joel Sherman offers up an elaboration of the Yanks’ position. Basically, the Bombers have been letting clubs know that they’re willing to spend money and will trade to acquire contracts teams want to shed as long as the price isn’t high in terms of prospects. That’s why they’re interested in Berkman but not Dunn and why Sherman expects the club to make some moves today or tomorrow.

Categories : Asides, Trade Deadline


  1. T-Dubs says:

    Or they’re using Sherman to float this rumor so the Nats get serious about trading Dunn.

  2. theyankeewarrior says:

    Get it done Cash$!

  3. (unties drawstrings on the Nova/Noesi/Phelps/Warren/McAllister/Adams/Nuñez/Laird/CoJo/Miranda grab bag)

  4. Brooklyn Ed says:

    If Berkman does indeed come to the Yanks, he should be batting 2nd. Let’s say its the bottom of the 9th, 1-2-3 are due up. Jeter gets on, but can’t IBB Berkman to get Tex.

    that would be an interesting scenario.

  5. j_Yankees says:

    ::shakes head in approval::

  6. FIPster Doofus says:

    Berkman DHing v. righties and Thames DHing v. lefties would be excellent.

    • Brian in NH says:

      for some reason i’m just not too keen on having a DH platoon where neither guy is likely going to be in the field at all. If we are going to platoon the DH i’d rather see it where you have one guy who mashes either LHP or RHP and on the other days rest a starter

  7. bexarama says:

    His numbers against lefties aren’t that great but I like that he gets on base a bunch even in a bad year. Would be cool if we got a utility player here, as well.

  8. Picturing Lance Berkman in pinstripes for some reason keeps reminding me of Pete Vukovich playing Clu Haywood in Major League.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      “Heywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor.”

    • Joe says:

      I seem to remember him raking during that movie too. Because of this and this alone I say we get him.

  9. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Will he really pass waivers? The Red Sox are reported to be aggressive with this thing and are going to do whatever to screw the Rays/Yankees. Of course my faith in the media being right is low so take it FWIW.

    But I’m all for Berkman.

    • I’d say the real risk of him getting blocked by Boston gives us a small sense of urgency to make this happen before the deadline.

    • Ed says:

      Keep in mind that Boston is right around the luxury tax threshold. They started the season off just a hair under the border, and may be over already. I doubt they mind going over it if it means a big increase in their chances of making the playoffs, but I can’t see them taking on another ~$7m + the luxury tax on it just to block the Yankees. Where would they even play Berkman?

      • I doubt the Astros would actually unload Berkman onto the Sox; they’d just expose him and then pull him back when the Sox claim him.

        As for what Boston would do if the Astros pulled a Alex Rios and just let Boston have him, they’d probably rotate Berkman through 1B and DH with Youkilis and Ortiz, and possibly play Youkilis a few games in LF when they want to get all three in the lineup together.

        • Ed says:

          You’re probably right that the Astros would pull Berkman back. They’d have to at least consider the option of letting him go though. They just agreed to pay $11m so that Oswalt could pitch for another team. That would sting a lot less if they got $7m off the books.

          As for the Sox – do you think they’d finally cut Lowell loose, or would they keep 3 DH’s on the roster?

          • Yeah, but in return for that 11M payout they got premium prospects. Dumping Berkman’s 7M on the Sox wouldn’t do that. And McLane won’t just dump money, he wants actual pieces in return.

            I could, however, see the Stros working out a trade with the Sox where they kick in some money and give Berkman to them for an actual fringy prospect, like a Josh Reddick or a Michael Bowden.

            And yes, they’d have to dump Mike Lowell. Meaning all of this is probably moot. I bet if Berkman’s still an Astro past the deadline, he goes through waivers, the Sox claim him, there’s some chatter and nothing eventually happens.

            • Ed says:

              Yeah, but in return for that 11M payout they got premium prospects. Dumping Berkman’s 7M on the Sox wouldn’t do that.

              Right, but keeping Berkman’s $7M on the payroll just buys a few extra meaningless wins on the season and probably a little bit more ticket sales. He may not even impact their record much, depending on how ready Wallace is. I don’t think it makes sense for them to pick up his option, or to offer him arbitration, so he has no impact on next season whether he stays or goes.

              In the end though, I think your analysis is right. I don’t see McLane as the type to just give away a player. If it was me, I’d give it serious consideration.

  10. Tampa Yankee says:

    In the chat Mike tossed out the idea of a Nova + Nunez for Berkman + $ (and possibly Keppinger) package. Isn’t that seem like a bit much? Maybe I’m in the minority but I’d prefer to keep those two since Nova is probably our most MLB ready SP in the minors and I’d prefer Nunez as our UTIL guy over Pena right now. Can some one convince me other wise/explain to me why this wouldn’t be giving up too much for what would be a couple month rental?

    • Brooklyn Ed says:

      fun fact: Keppinger could also play the outfield. he could be a poor man’s verison of Mark DeRosa.

    • Can some one convince me other wise/explain to me why this wouldn’t be giving up too much for what would be a couple month rental?

      I’ll try:

      Nova is our most MLB ready SP in the minors, yes, but there’s not that much of a difference between him and the guys right behind him (like Hirsh, McAllister, Phelps, etc.). We have enough depth that we can afford to part with him, and his ceiling is not high enough to make him untouchable.

      Nuñez is the same situation: sure, he’s the closest thing to the majors in the middle infield, bu he’s also simply a marginal prospect without much long term upside. It’s harder to part with him because unlike Nova, there’s not other guys like him in the high levels of the system, but all in all, losing an Eduardo Nuñez isn’t horrible.

      If it was just Berkman by himself, I’d probably say no to Nuñez, but if it was Berkman and Keppinger, that makes sense. Keppinger’s under team control for a few more years, so he fills the backup SS void that Nuñez creates.

      You’re basically moving some of your high-minors depth for better major league depth, and that’s a smart trade.

  11. FIPster Doofus says:

    For whatever it’s worth, Berkman’s SSS postseason line: 29 games, 129 PA, .321/.426/.566.

  12. dan genovese says:

    I thought he was having a horrible year!?

    • Zanath says:

      He is, but there’s always the possibility he gets invigorated by going to a contender. Plus, I think he’d be a pretty good DH against righties. If he can be had at the right price, I say do it.

    • Dirty Pena says:

      He has a .356 wOBA. Hardly a horrible year.

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      He has rebounded nicely from a poor start.

      OPS by Month:

      April – .809 (only 9 games)
      May – .730
      June – .792
      July – .925

    • Billy Shears says:

      Berkman started the year on the DL and came off of it on April 20th. From April 20th until May 8 he OPSd .621 in 66 PAs. Since May 8 he has a .851 OPS in 292 PAs. Before he came off the DL in April he only had two rehab games. You can basically chalk those first 66 terrible PAs up to his spring training.

  13. mikebk says:

    from sherman “The Yankees philosophy right now is this: They have some money to spend. Almost every other team in the majors doesn’t. So they are telling organizations hungry to move high-priced players to call and make their best offer. Translation: We can take some of your money headaches, but if we do we are not going to give up much in prospects.”


  14. mikebk says:

    Ben, that 7 million dollar figure i believe is combining what is left this year and the 2 mil option, not just this year. i believe he has just over 4 mil left this year and then the option buyout.

  15. mikebk says:

    sherman now says he expects us to add 1 maybe 2 guys by the deadline.

    • Dirty Pena says:

      Gammons is preemptively whining about us getting Dunn it seems. (MLBTR)

      • rbizzler says:

        I am not the biggest Gammons fan out there, but there didn’t seem to be all that much whining going on in those quotes.

        I find it funny that he mentioned the Yanks in on Dunn, but didn’t address Berkman to NY. Fat Elvis would be a terrible fit in BOS as they are locked at 1st and 3rd and already have an overpriced DH.

        • Dirty Pena says:

          Would you be in any way surprised if the Yankees got Dunn and come Monday morning there’s a “the Yankees are bad for baseball” type article from Mr. Gammons?

  16. Zanath says:

    Important question: If we get Lance Berkman, what is Sterling’s home run call for him?

  17. mikebk says:

    interesting maybe

    “The Rays are convinced that the Yankees will acquire Dunn, Peter Gammons told WEEI.com. Gammons suspects that if the Nationals trade Dunn, the Yankees will acquire him.”

  18. theyankeewarrior says:


    Too bad Swisher gets demoted here, but I think it’s necessary to split up Gardner/Granderson. Actually, Posada should be 8th and Swisher 6th, but I don’t see Posada being demoted like that.

  19. mikebk says:

    im sure this has been talked about already today but here it is

    “Joelsherman1 Berkman has a complete no-trade clause, but hear that would not be problem if it is #Yankees ”

    credit for that fact at least in what i saw was given mainly to having Andy here.

  20. mustang says:

    “As for the Yankees, Gammons said a fear existed in the AL East that New York could make the biggest splash on Saturday.

    “The Tampa Bay people are absolutely convinced that one way or another there’s going to be a huge deal with the Yankees and they’re going to end up with Adam Dunn. I don’t know if it will or not, but I would say if Adam Dunn’s going anywhere, it would probably be to the Yankees”

    Take with a grain of salt because of the source.

  21. mustang says:

    The Yankees are in a good place all the big chips left on the broad have nice contracts attached to them. That means less in prospects if they pick up the $$$$.

    • mustang says:

      Come on Lilly and Dunn might as well go for the kill.

      • Problem is, those other teams have to also be willing to dump their players for non-prospects and only salary relief.

        The Nats don’t seem to be there with Dunn. That’s why Berkman is emerging as a more logical idea.

        • mustang says:


          I think Berkman and Lilly.

          I know that the yankees haven’t been linked to Lilly but
          “2:10pm: The Tigers still aren’t out on Lilly, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark. He adds that a mystery team is in the mix.”
          I’m betting on the Yanks being that “mystery team” one of the big issues with Lilly is his contract. No one wants to take on the $$$$$

        • Steve H says:

          And Lilly, no thanks. Not in the AL East. Not when Pettitte will be back. Not when we’re already 1-1 in games started with Pettitte out.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            And not with is 4.70ish FIP.

          • mustang says:

            Better then any 5th starter solution they have now. And yes Andy is coming back but what happens when hughes hits his limits?
            Lilly will be cheap as far as prospect and can be used as a left-handed starter and reliever.

            We are looking at the left overs here guys your not going to get great numbers.

    • mustang says:

      “The Yankees are telling teams they can take on salary, but don’t want to hand over prospects, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.’

      I love being a Yankees fan. ( tear running down my face)

  22. Steve H says:

    Give me some Puma.

  23. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Brian McTaggert reports that Lance Berkman is out of Houston’s lineup for Friday’s game against the Brewers. Berkman has done a fair amount of sitting against lefties as of late, but he had a great series against the Cubs and the Astros had Thursday off: it’s hard to believe the team would want him to sit two days in a row. Maybe a trade is close. THe Yankees and White Sox appear to be the primary suitors.


  24. Patrick says:

    According to Buster Only, “Heard this: The Steinbrenners have given pre-approval to the acquisition of a large salary such as Lance Berkman or Adam Dunn.” (https://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN)

  25. Brooklyn Ed says:


    The Yankees are on the verge of acquiring Lance Berkman, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).

  26. Stryker says:

    call me crazy, but a move for berkman – what does he offer? the guy can’t hit lefties and his power has been zapped in the last few years. creating a platoon situation at DH isn’t the best of situations, right? seems like they’re making a move just to make move.

  27. jesse says:

    Melancon and Paredes. The Astros are eating 4 mil. Sounds fine to me.

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