The Cardinals have inked Lance Berkman to an $8-million, one-year contract. Berkman, who has spent almost all of his career with the Astros, will get most of his playing time in left field with Matt Holliday moving over to right, according to Si.com's Jon Heyman.
But I'm not so sure. I'd be surprised in Berkman can play seven days a week on soon to be 35 year old knees. So why move Holliday to right and disrupt the $17 million a year man? Berkman has been brought in with hopes that he can still hit at a high level. His defense is an afterthought. And, if the Cardinals were thinking about playing Allen Craig in right most of the time anyway, obviously their priority for the position wasn't defense.
"We are extremely excited to have added Lance to our ballclub," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a press release. "He's an impact player who not only helps solidify our everyday lineup, but he also brings a wealth of experience to our team."
Berkman's a career .296 hitter who has hit 24 or more homers in nine of the last 10 seasons. But a lot of them came in the cozy dimensions of Houson's home park. Unfortunately his low numbers in both of those categories came in his most recent season.
SS - Theriot (R)
CF - Rasmus (L)
1B - Pujols (R)
LF - Holliday (R)
RF - Berkman (S)
3B - Freese (R)
C - Molina (R)
2B - Schumaker (L)
As of a few days ago, it seemed like Berkman was a shoe-in to sign with the Rockies or the Athletics. I'm still surprised the Cardinals were willing to invest $8 million in a gamble for Berkman when it seemed like they were more interested in reuniting Holliday with his former Colorado teammate Brad Hawpe.