The Yankees appear to be the most aggressive team in pursuing Berkman, but the Rays, White Sox, Tigers and Red Sox have had conversations with the Astros about Berkman.Berkman's close relationship with Andy Pettitte could end up being a huge factor in his decision to approve a deal. Unlike Roy Oswalt, who asked the Astros to trade him, Berkman has never publicly declared his desire to play elsewhere. However, he has said that if the Astros want to trade him to a contender he'll consider it. Friends say he's leaning toward approving a deal.(Note: These are semantics. Back on May 6 he said:
As a player, if they came to me and said, 'Hey, we've got a deal to go to a contender,' I'd take it. Heck, it's only a three- or four-month deal. It's not like I'm signing on for 10 years with another team.
I would say yeah. I think it would benefit the organization, and in the end, it would be a benefit for whoever it is — whether it's me, or Roy (Oswalt) or Carlos. I'm not saying we're at the point where they should start pulling the plug on us, but they need to start thinking forward. If this thing keeps going like this, they've gotta do something.)
Joel Sherman has this:
Lance Berkman does not directly fit any of the Yankees' greatest needs. However, his price both in dollars and/or prospects has fallen so low that the Yankees are definitely looking hard whether to acquire the switch-hitter.
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...
...Berkman would essentially fill the role the Yanks had envisioned for Nick Johnson, regular DH and occasional fill-in first baseman for Mark Teixeira. He is a veteran bat with plenty of playoff experience and he is pals with Andy Pettitte. He is having his worst season at .240 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs. But in his last 18 games, Berkman has hit .274 with six homers in 64 at-bats. He also is the kind of patient hitter the Yanks always like and they would be hoping that the intensity of a championship hunt would energize him for a strong finish.
Sherman later tweets that:
Berkman has a complete no-trade clause, but hear that would not be problem if it is.