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Rumor Mill: Lance Berkman

According to a report out of Boston, the Red Sox, Phillies, Astros and Rays have all contacted Lance Berkman to express their interest in the veteran slugger.

The Red Sox seem to think that Berkman is still capable of playing the outfield and first base on a regular basis as must the Phillies because of a lack of the designated hitter in the National League. But the Rays and Astros see Berkman as being primarily only a DH.

I wrote a while back that I believe Berkman, who is working as a volunteer coach with Rice University's baseball team, seems to be leaning toward retirement. And I am more convinced than ever that he's trying to put himself in position where no one tries to lure him back on the field.

He told the Houston press that if he played for the Astros in 2013 he would want to be paid as a major league third place hitter or, in other words, he's not willing to take a discounted contract to come back. Now the word on is that Berkman is asking for a two-year contract. Does he seriously think a team is going to commit two years to a player who broke down in 2012 at 36 years old? Or is he just trying to price himself out of the market.

I wouldn't be surprised if Berkman started the MLB season working for Rice and then signed with a contender later in the season. But I would be shocked if he got the deal he seems to be asking for.