Houston, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Lance Berkman wants to return to Houston, for the right price.
Astros owner Jim Crane is interested in the slugger’s services with General manager Jeff Luhnow saying they are going to be in touch.
“It just depends on what kind of money they are talking about,” Berkman said.
Berkman earned $12 million in 2012 with St. Louis, but at age 37 and with the knee injuries, it’s unlikely he will earn that much again in 2013.
The Astros can make a reasonable offer with just over $25 million committed to the 2013 payroll.
Berkman managed just 97 plate-appearances last season as knee injuries limited him. He still hit .259/.381/.444 and has a .295/.408/.533 (159 OPS+) line over his past two seasons with St. Louis. He is open to a DH role with the Astros to limit the wear and tear on his body.
But even his injury-hampered 2012 would have been better (on a per at-bat basis) than any of Houston’s hitters from last season, and far better than the other rumored DH target Hideki Matsui did for the Rays (.147/.214/.221, 23 OPS+).