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You may hardly recognize the Astros when they next come to town

When the Cardinals face the Astros next week, Houston may not only be without its best pitcher.

First baseman Lance Berkman is reportedly very near to being dealt to the Yankees, shipped out of town just like ace Roy Oswalt was sent off to the Phillies yesterday.

The Yankees have been without a regular designated hitter for most of the season, using a rotation of starters and bench players to fill the spot in the batting order. So Berkman's switch hitting bat could be a great boost to the Bronx Bombers' offense.

Instead of Berkman, the Cardinals might find their former farmhand Brett Wallace playing first base when Houston comes to town. The Astros picked up Wallace yesterday, flipping a young centerfield prospect acquired in the Oswalt trade to Toronto for Wallace who was hitting just over .300 with power in Class AAA.

Another Astros player being targeted at the trade deadline is pitcher Brett Meyers. While Houston has maintained that it wants to keep Meyers, who has a team-friendly option for next season. But reports out of Chicago are that the White Sox are trying to pry him out of Texas. Meyers would be a nice addition for the Redbirds, but I don't see why Houston would ship him here if it wouldn't help the Cardinals with Oswalt.