As intimated by the earlier post on arbitration offers, Lance Berkman is being considered for the Chicago Cubs’ open first base gig. It’s progressed to the level of talking to his agent, so there could be something here.
The Cubs are in pursuit of a first baseman this offseason and one option could be Lance Berkman. He told FoxSports.com that the Cubs are one of the teams that has talked to his agent. Berkman said the A’s have been the “most aggressive” but they want someone who will DH. He would like to return to the National League, which would work in the Cubs’ favor. Berkman made $14.5 million last season and would have to accept less money to sign with the Cubs.
Berkman, who will be 35 on Feb. 10, said he was limited in 2010 after arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee.
“I’m probably viewed as a declining player,” Berkman told FoxSports.com. “I don’t blame teams for thinking like that. But I don’t view myself that way. If I was to honestly assess where I’m at, I feel like last year was the result of me being hurt.” Muskat Ramblings.
Berkman, despite his pleading, is a player in decline. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a fine one-year option for the Cubs. Until last year, Berkman was as consistently good at the plate as it gets – he was always over .900 in OPS, hit around 30 homers, drove in around 100 runs, and on and on. Even last year, his OPS+ was 114, suggesting that he was above average.
It’s hard to peg what kind of deal he’ll get, but it’s hard to see him getting a large, multi-year contract at his age, and with a troublesome knee. Defensively, Berkman has always been solid. If the Cubs could get him on a one-year, $6ish million deal, it might be the right way to go – even if he isn’t remembered particularly well by fans. Just remember: we cheered for Jim Edmonds of all people.
Plus, we would get to use one of the best nicknames ever. No, not “Big Puma.”
Lance Berkman is, and will always be, Fat Elvis.