Houston Astros' Lance Berkman reacts after striking out against the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 11, 2010 in Houston. The Cardinals beat the Astros 4-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) By David J. Phillip
(KMOV) -- The Cardinals are one of the teams that have expressed an interest in free agent Lance Berkman. I hope they get him. He makes sense for a number of reasons. Berkman's 34 now, and may have lost a step or two, but he could still handle leftfield.
Matt Holliday has said he'd be willing to move to right. I realize Berkman won't be a contender for a gold glove as an outfielder, but the Cardinals were ok with Chris Duncan playing leftfield for three seasons.
The major leagues are full of leftfielders who aren't very good defensively, but hit a ton. It just isn't a very important defensive position. It's much more important to get offense from that position, and Berkman could certainly supply that. He'd look great hitting second ahead of Albert Pujols, or fifth behind Holliday. He'd be a great back-up first baseman for Pujols in the event Albert were to get hurt, or heaven forbid, the Cardinals were to fail to sign Pujols and need to trade him.
Berkman's not the player he was in his heyday with the Astros, but he's still productive. He hit .299 in the last month of the 2010 season, and .312 for the Yankees in the playoffs. Berkman says he wants to play for a team that has a chance to win. Tony La Russa said on KFNS radio that he's trying to recruit Berkman to St. Louis.
I hope his recruiting pitch works. Berkman would be a great addition to the Cardinals line-up and to their clubhouse. He's a solid citizen, one of the best liked players in the game. The Cardinals have had a lot of success with similar players in the past... Larry Walker and Will Clark come to mind immediately. Signing Berkman, after the trade for Ryan Theriot, would certainly give the Cardinals a better line-up and a realistic chance to overtake the Reds in the Central division in 2011.