The New York Yankees stunned the modern industrialized world when they declined a $15 million option for an aging, slow first baseman who doesn’t hit very well anymore. Yep, that means that Lance Berkman is now a free agent who is free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.
The first place people thought that he may pop up is with the Houston Astros, where he played for 12 seasons. However, GM Ed Wade essentially said that they want good players, not older guys who frustrate the hell out of him with shaky at-bats.
“I heard from [Berkman's agent] Mike Moye and he inquired about whether we had interest in bringing Lance back and I was candid with him and told him it didn’t fit for us,” Wade said. “As much as we love and respect Lance and what he’s done for our organization, We had these internal conversations in July when we made the decision to go ahead and move him.
“Lance had said he’d be open to a trade at that point in time and realistically evaluating where we thought we were going to be going into 2011 we didn’t think there was going to be a fit there with regard to picking his option up. We had that internal conversation then and moved forward and made the trade.
“Our situation hasn’t changed in any great regard other than as a result of the moves we made in July we also added Brett Wallace to our mix. So we know that Carlos Lee can play first base. We know that Brett Wallace can play first base. Again, as much as we love and respect Lance and recognize what he’s meant to our organization, we’ve moved past that at this point.”
Berkman told FOX 26 in Houston recently that he isn’t thrilled about being not wanted.
“To be honest I don’t know how I feel,” Berkman said. “I really need some time to digest it.”
Berkman, however, is hopeful that he could play for the Astros again at some point. He obviously has no bones about playing for a disappointing team that has no chance of winning the division.
“No matter what happens I will always consider myself a Houston Astro,” Berkman said then. “I feel a tremendous allegiance to the team, to the city, to the fans.