The Daily Puppy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lance Berkman Agrees to One-Year Deal With Cardinals

Where he'll fit in the defensive lineup -- outfield, first base or somewhere else -- remains to be seen, but that didn't stop the St. Louis Cardinals from agreeing Saturday to terms on a one-year, $8 million deal with free agent outfielder/first baseman Lance Berkman.

It would be hard to think Berkman would unseat Albert Pujols in the lineup at first base, making it more likely that he'll go back to being an everyday player -- or close to it -- in the Cards' outfield. The most likely spot for him would be right field, where the Cards used a variety of players in 2010.

Or, Berkman gives Cards manager Tony LaRussa flexibility to potentially platoon him in the outfield -- he's started over 100 games at all three outfield positions in his career, and has started nearly 850 games as a left-fielder during his major league tenure -- and to occasionally spare Pujols at first base.

One thing is certain: the Cards get some much-needed power at the plate. Against other NL Central teams, Berkman is a career .299 hitter with 169 home runs and 540 RBI in 767 games.
Overall, the 34-year-old Berkman is a career .296 hitter with 327 homers, 1,099 RBI and a .954 slugging percentage.

He split 2010 between Houston and the New York Yankees, compiling a combined batting average of .248 with 14 homers and 58 RBI..

Houston dealt him to the Yankees at the end of July and even though he had only one homer, nine RBI and 27 hits in Yankee pinstripes, primarily as a designated hitter and first baseman, many still considered him instrumental in helping the Bronx Bombers win the American League wild card before losing to Texas in the AL Championship Series.

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