Berkman knows that he will make $2m next year, no matter what. Whether he makes the extra $13m is up to him, and he knows it.
“It may come down to a situation where if things don’t go well they don’t pick up my option, then I probably won’t be back. If they don’t pick it up, I’ll probably take my ball and go home...
...If they don’t pick up my option, then to me that says they may like me to come back at a discount but they don’t really want me. If that’s the case, then I’ll just see what else it’s out there.”
“It was definitely toward the bottom of my statistical performance in years past. Batting average was definitely down, but if you want to go down a list of numbers, heck, on-base percentage was OK, and the home runs and the RBIs for missing a month weren’t too bad. It just wasn’t a very good year. This will be my 12th year, so, heck, if I had 11 great years, that would be unusual. You’re going to have a couple of years when things don’t go well and last year was one of them. I don’t expect it’s going to have a lasting impact.”
I think Berkman is wrong on one point. If the Astros decline his option, it won't mean that they don't want him back. I think there will always be room on the Astros roster for Berkman. They just won't want to pay him $15m. And you know what? If Berkman's 2010 goes like 2009 (and granted, he did pretty well, given the injuries and slow first-third of the season), no one will pay him $15m.