Cheap Seats

Should Cardinals trade Berkman?

I'm not endorsing such a thing. But I wonder if the Cardinals will consider trading Lance Berkman now that he's healthy and starting to literally get back in the swing of things.

Berkman is an all-time personal favorite, especially since he's traded in his Astros togs for Cardinals red. It's been a thrill to see a one time well-respected foe in a Cardinals uniform like Larry Walker and Will Clark before him. But St. Louis has a glut of first baseman between the veteran slugger, Allen Craig and hot hitting prospect Matt Adams.

It's almost a certainty that the popular Berkman won't be back next season. And there are teams out there that would likely pay a premium for an impact bat.

Take the Dodgers, for example. They've got James Loney at first base and he's racked up a total of two homers and 26 RBIs in 86 games and a less than inspiring .248 batting average. That's not much production from a production position. The Dodgers only have two players with as many as 11 homers -- Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp -- and only Ethier (61) has more than 35 RBIs.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles has a pretty stellar bullpen. Wouldn't a bullpenner and a prospect to rent Berkman for the rest of the season be a pretty good deal for St. Louis?

Or what about the Dodgers NL West Rivals in San Francisco?

The Giants have Brandon Belt at first base sporting a .231 batting average with four homers and 31 RBIs. In right field they have Gregor Blanco who is hitting .248 with five homers and 26 RBIs. They could certainly use an injection of offense. And maybe the Dodgers and Giants could be enticed into a bidding war to keep The Big Puma from going to the other club.

The problem with potentially dealing Berkman is that he's emerged as the leader of the offensive players, especially since that one guy who used to play first base -- I can't quite remember his name -- split for big bucks in Anaheim.

By parting with Berkman the Cardinals would risk not only dealing away surplus -- but also potentially dealing away the backbone of their team. 

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