Jul
30

Sherman: Yanks ‘definitely in’ on Berkman

By

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
  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

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

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I think they also view Berkman as a poor man’s Dunn. He’ll carry a far lower cost in terms of prospects than Dunn will, but he wouldn’t produce as much.

      • mikebk

        what do you think the cost of berkman would look like ben? z-mac and something else?

    • mikebk

      us, the sox and rays are all doing that.

      • mikebk

        sorry, white sox.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Get it done Cash$!

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

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

    • A.D.

      Pretty sure Nunez isn’t going to be traded

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Debateable. I don’t see him as untouchable, but Cashman might. I’m including him in my personal grab bag, though.

        • Brian in NH

          there are not any untouchable players in the yankees system other than Mo, Jeter, Pettite and likely posada…and thats more for sentimental reasons.

          all players in the minors and almost all in the majors could be had for the right price

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            A-Rod is basically untouchable because of that contract.

            Pettitte’s on a one-year deal. If the Yankees were totally out of it (and he wasn’t on the DL), he’d probably be a decent trade option, honestly. =/

            • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

              A-Rod is basically untouchable immovable because of that contract.

              /there’s a difference
              /nitpicking jackass’d

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                Not jackassy at all, thank you.

        • A.D.

          I also agree that he probably shouldn’t be untouchable, however I think Cashman pretty sees him as that given refusing to include him in the Lee trade both when talks started, and at the end, and because they want Jeter insurance.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            The Lee trade is a different ball of worms, though, because it wasn’t “Should I include Nuñez?” as much as it was “Should I include Nuñez on top of Jesus Montero?”

            That changes the calculus a bit. Giving up a valuable guy when you’re already giving up Jesus Montero is one thing; giving him up when you’re only giving up Ivan Nova is another.

    • Thomas

      Watch out when reaching in. I hear Laird can get violent.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    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.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

    ::shakes head in approval::

    • Brooklyn Ed

      dont you mean nod? lol

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

        yes. that. that. that what you said.

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

        was thinking one thing and typed another.

  • FIPster Doofus

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

    • Brian in NH

      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

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I agree. My retort:

        Our current DH platoon is also a situation where neither guy will see the field. Thus, adding Berkman is a lateral move defensively and in roster flexibility (we’re not any better or worse), but an upgrade offensively.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    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.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

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

    • FIPster Doofus

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

    • Joe

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

  • JobaWockeeZ

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      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

      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?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        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

          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?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            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

              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.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Oh, absolutely.

                But if it was us and not Drayton running the Astros, we probably would have traded Berkman a while ago, and we would have never given Carlos Lee that deal or traded Brad Lidge for a Michael Bourn-centric package, or any other number of questionable moves.

  • Tampa Yankee

    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

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

      • mikebk

        he has played 22 innings in the majors in the OF.

        • Brooklyn Ed

          like I said, a poor man verison of Mark DeRosa. he doesnt have to be spectular.

          • Chris

            Thames can play third!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      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.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Muchas gracias mi amigo!

  • FIPster Doofus

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

    • Ghost of Scott Brosius

      That’s not a terrible sample size- 30 games of that production at least tells us that he doesn’t go weak at the knees in the playoffs.

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        He also looks like Fat Elvis, which is hilarious.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Who am I? (Hint: bexy is writing this comment)

        5 G, 30.2 IP, 29 H, 21 R/ER, 15 BB, 11 K, 8 HR
        6.16 ERA, .257/.338/.504/.843, oh and all this with a decidedly low .219 BABIP too.

        You’re “weak at the knees in the playoffs” until you’re not, man.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re Andy Pettitte.

          Just a hunch.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            yep, first five games of his playoff career. He kinda sucked the big one, hmm?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Berkman’s career line: .296/.410/.549
      Berkman’s postseason line: 321/.426/.566

      /regressiontothemean’d

    • Ed

      That’s mostly ages 28 and 29 Berkman, with a smidge of age 25 thrown in too.

      Berkman’s age 28-29 regular seasons:
      .305 / .432 / .546

      His postseason stats were really similar to his regular season stats of the same period.

      Unfortunately, we’d be getting the age 34 version of Berkman.

  • dan genovese

    I thought he was having a horrible year!?

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      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.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Berkman, month by month:

        April: .242/.324/.485 (.273 BABIP)
        May : .221/.362/.368 (.257 BABIP)
        June : .278/.369/.423 (.333 BABIP)
        July: .233/.404/.521 (.229 BABIP)

        The OBP’s climing steadily, the slugging is returning, and the BA is probably just BABIP randomness. He’s having a slight down year, but improving and still a great bat.

        • mikebk

          not to mention infinitely more protection in this lineup than he gets now.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

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

    • theyankeewarrior

      He has rebounded nicely from a poor start.

      OPS by Month:

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

    • Billy Shears

      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.

  • mikebk

    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.”

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/.....bUs1h6L2YI

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Daddy likes.

      Swing the fat wallet around.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      This is the awesome-st strategy of all the strategies.

      (Insert Bret coming here to whine about the Yankees using the advantages they have here.)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I just think it’s wrong that the dumbest team in baseball gets to cover up their dumbness with all that money. It offends the baseball gods.

        /Bret’d

  • mikebk

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      There’s 37.65% of the 2010 season left. 37.65% of 14.5M (Berkman’s 2010 salary) is 5.46M.

      • mikebk

        yes, i meant over 5, thanks for the exact numbers. so 7.5 total while a lot less than 9.

  • mikebk

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

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

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

      • rbizzler

        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.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          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?

  • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

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

    • mikebk

      Elvis has left the building

      • Joe

        Fantastic

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        I approve

      • rbizzler

        Fat Elvis has left the building.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Easy-Dunn-It

      /SterlingCheese’d

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        I liked your first Dunn HR call:

        “OH, MERCY!!!1 YOU “DUNN” F#$%ED THE S#$T OUT OF THAT PITCH, ADAM!!!!”

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        Also, would you say his Granderson HR call is his worst yet? It’s pretty painful to listen to. Though pretty much anything he says is painful.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I’ve hated pretty much everything Sterling has done for years.

    • Frank the Yank

      There’s a shot to deep right center, the Berkbino has done it again! Berkamania!!

  • mikebk

    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.”

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      Meh. I’ll believe it if it happens.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        Yeah, Gammons and Heyman are the two guys where it’s not even worth paying attention. I just think Gammons is preparing himself to start complaining if we do get Dunn.

      • Tom Zig

        This.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Jetah
    Dunn/Berkmahn
    Teixeirah
    A-Rahd
    Cahno
    Posadah
    Grandahson
    Swishah
    Gahdnah

    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.

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      I never realized we had so many players that could pronounced with a Boston accent.

      • theyankeewarrior

        It can be forced on just about any name. But the Yankee starters can be easily converted into Bostonian lingo.

        • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

          I actually had to live in Boston for two years when I went to school there. And I had to survive through 2004. It was very painful, to say the least. Some girl from our school actually got killed in the riot after they beat the Yankees (or maybe it was after the World Series, can’t quite remember).

          • theyankeewarrior

            I remember that story. Terrible. I thought the bandwagon Sox Nation was bad in upstate/Western NY. I feel for you.

            • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

              Yeah. I never heard the end of it from Sox fans up there. And yeah, terrible story that was. The fact that there was a riot over a game was bad enough, but the police just had no idea how to handle that situation.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      OH MY GAHD THAT LINEUP IS WICKED GAY

      /Boston’d

      • theyankeewarrior

        Guzmahn to the Nahts? Waaht the faaaaaaack Cashmahn?

        /Boston Tommie’d

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Well played.

  • mikebk

    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.

    • Brooklyn Ed

      didn’t Oswalt said he would play with Andy again? yeah…that’s not happening.

  • mustang

    “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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Can I take it with a boulder of salt?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      If Gammons is reporting Yankees then the Rays are the favorites.

  • mustang

    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

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

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        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

          Agree.

          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 $$$$$

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          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

            And not with is 4.70ish FIP.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Which translates to 7.49 in the AL East.

          • mustang

            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

      “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)

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Give me some Puma.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    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.

    hm….

    • Ross in Jersey

      Kinda feel bad for Houston. Isn’t he a home grown Astro and face of the franchise? With him and Oswalt gone there’s no reason to watch that team. They have my favorite ballpark in the league, too.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        With him and Oswalt gone there’s no reason to watch that team.

        Hey, Carlos Lee! There’s two more years and 37M left of his awesome .239/.283/.399 production, baby! Get your popcorn ready!

      • Ed

        I kinda wonder how that aspect plays into the decision of whether to trade him.

        He’s rather expensive, the team is going nowhere, and he likely won’t get offered arbitration or get his option picked up. In that sense, his salary far outweighs any benefit he has to the team.

        But if you trade him, you’re probably looking at Hunter Pence as the only reason to remotely care about the team. Do the fans stop coming if you trade him away? If so, how long will it take to get them interested again?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      That’s good. I would love seeing Berkman in pinstripes.

  • Patrick

    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)

  • Brooklyn Ed

    MLBTR:

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

  • Stryker

    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.

    • V

      Um…he’s better than Miranda?

  • jesse

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