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Berkman took half the money to play in St. Louis

If a report out of Oakland is to be believed, either Lance Berkman REALLY wanted to play for the Cardinals... Or he REALLY, REALLY didn't want to be a designated hitter.

According to the story, Berkman was offered twice as much money by the Athletics to join their club -- two years at $8 million per season -- as opposed to one season at $8 million from St. Louis.

True, the National League is more familiar to Berkman, who played in the senior circuit for all but two months of his career. But it would certainly be much easier on his mid-30s knees to save himself for hitting duties in northern California. And, if he can't rebound from a sub par 2010 campaign, he could find himself crying all the way to the bank.

Of course, the Cardinals would seem to offer a lot better opportunity to play for a championship than Oakland. But how that pans out depends a lot on whether Berkman can turn back the clock to the days when he was a competent outfielder.

It's nice to see players who care more about where they'll play than grubbing for every last penny. But that was an awful lot of money left on the table for a guy who is nearing the end of the gravy train.