Cardinals slugger Lance Berkman plans to decide in December if he will play in 2013.
His agent told CBS sports that Berkman wants to play another year. But he plans to wait until closer to the end of the year to see how his knee that was twice surgically repaired last season continues to recover.
I still say that I'd love to see Berkman back in St. Louis for another year if he was willing to accept a role as a part time player and to take a salary appropriate for that job.
It may sound far fetched for a major league ballplayer to make that sort of financial sacrifice. But let's remember that the Birds paid Berkman $12 million in 2012 to spend 3/4 of the year on the disabled list.
Besides the lousy bullpen that plagued the Birds for most of last season, the club's biggest weakness was a shallow bench. Berkman would not only give the Cardinals a threat off the bench from both sides of the plate. He would also give the team a chance to give Carlos Beltran more rest, which was something that last season proved could desperately be used. Let's not forget that Matt Holliday is getting older, too. So he might benefit from a day off here and there as well.
I think Berkman starting two or three times a week and pinch hitting the rest of the time would make the Redbirds a much better team. He'd also continue to be a great leader for the club. But I just don't see him coming back for what the Cardinals would likely be willing to pay him. And that would be something less than $5 million. Potentially much less.