Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thoughts on Berkman's signing with Dallas

As you likely know (or maybe you don't, since the news broke around the time the Texans kicked off against the Bengals), Lance Berkman signed a 1-year, $10m deal with the Rangers, with a vesting option for 2014, or a $1m buyout. Some thoughts, if you don't mind...

*It is very hard not to take it personally, isn't it? After asking for a trade in 2010, he signed with the Cardinals, which didn't go over so well in Astros County. Having won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011, he then signs his next contract with the Dallas Rangers. So in his last two decisions, Berkman has signed contracts with the two teams the majority of Astros fans hate the most. 

*But wait! Berkman has nothing but nice things to say about the Astros:

The way that (the Astros) handled the negotiation and the way they communicated with me was second to none. I understood that they've got a lot of young guys they want to play and they are kind of on a rebuilding project. The fit wasn't exactly what either side needed, I guess you could say. I certainly have tremendous good will toward the Astros organization, and being a Houstonian I look forward to a continued relationship with those guys down the road.

Yeah, that's all well and good. When the Cardinals came to Houston for the first time in April 2011, Berkman didn't want to get booed. If, on March 31, Astros fans want to groan a little when he comes to the plate, that's fine with me. 

*That said, would you really want the Astros to spend $10m on a 36-year old DH with a history of knee injuries who was limited to 97 plate appearances thanks to being placed on the DL four separate times in 2012? Sure, he would have sold some tickets, but Lance does not fit what the organization has been about for the last 13 months. The team is trying to get younger and cheaper, not older and more expensive.

*He has made $114m in his career and won a World Series. If he wants to play, and a team will pay him $10m, good for him. If the Astros made that deal, they'd be crucified in the press (and, likely, here.)

*I still don't like the Dallas Rangers.