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MLB Free Agency 2013: New York Yankees Interested in Reunion with Lance Berkman?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 02:  Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals grounds out to end the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game Two of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Doug RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 5, 2013

Two years ago, the New York Yankees made a bold move at the trade deadline.

They acquired long-time slugger Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros for unknown prospects and at the time, it seemed like a steal of a trade.

In the 37 games that he played for with the Bombers, Berkman was hardly the slugging hitter that was advertised, as he hit .255 with one home run and nine RBI.

However, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Yankees are interested in the free agent again.

 

 

The #Yankees are interested in Lance Berkman, but it's not clear whether he'd consider a return to NY given the Texas teams' involvement.

— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) January 4, 2013

 

Berkman did hit well for the Yankees in the 2010 playoffs, as he hit .312 that October for the Bombers.

After he left the Yankees to become a free agent, Berkman went back to the All-Star slugger that we all knew as a member of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, hitting 31 home runs with 94 RBI and finishing seventh in the N.L. MVP voting.

Berkman was limited to just 32 games in 2012 due to knee injuries that required surgery.

Some people thought that Berkman might in fact retire at the end of the season, but he is drawing a lot of interest from different teams.

Aside from the Yankees, Berkman has interest from the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and his old team, the Houston Astros, who are now part of the American League for the first time.

The Astros would make sense given that Berkman spent 12 years of his career there, and even though they have signed Carlos Pena, the team remains interested in him.

 

Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston has confirmed that the Rangers do in fact have an offer on the table for Berkman to be their DH in 2013 and would love to have him in their lineup.

With the Yankees losing out on Raul Ibanez to the Seattle Mariners, they too need a DH for 2013, which is why their interest in the 36-year-old makes sense.

When healthy, Berkman is a switch-hitter who can not only DH, but play first base and the outfield, although given his knee issues from 2012, DH duties would be best suited for him.

Personally, I think it'll be tough for the Yankees to lure Berkman back to the Bronx given that two teams from Texas are heavily interested in him.

The one thing the Yankees do have in their corner is one of Berkman's good friends and former Astros teammates, Andy Pettitte.

Berkman and Pettitte played together from 2004-2006 in Houston and then again with the Yankees in 2010 and Pettitte could influence Berkman to come back for one more try with the team.

It's a long shot, and given how the first try with the team went, it's an incredible long shot.

But you never know with the Yankees, and if they feel a desperate need for a bat like Berkman, they might be willing to spend a little more on a one-year deal.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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