Hey, remember how on December 4th, 2010 every single sports media outlet and social media site screamed with news of veteran free agent Lance Berkman signing with the St. Louis Cardinals?
No, well then you probably remember Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Just in case you don't remember what was one of the greatest postseason games in baseball history, here's a quick refresher.
With two on and two out and a 2-2 count facing elimination and the specter of losing the World Series, Lance Berkman, a slugger who many in baseball felt was past his prime after a down 2010 season, smacked a single to center field which scored the game-tying run.
One inning later, David Freese would lead off with a towering walk-off home run to deep center field to win Game 6 and propel the Cardinals to an eventual Game 7 and World Series title.
When the 2010 season began, Lance Berkman was player who had been a bona fide slugger for 10 years in Houston. With free agency looming and the Astros in a tailspin, he was a prime trade target in the summer of 2010.
We'll never know for sure, but the constant trade chatter may not have sit so well with Berkman—he had a below-average 2010 in Houston, and when he was eventually dealt to the Yankees in midseason, he struggled to adjust to the American League and New York as well.
After the Yankees were eliminated by the Rangers in the 2010 ALCS, Berkman was not re-signed by the Yankees. Instead he accepted a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. The signing received little in the way of national fanfare, but it was critical to the World Series run that the Cardinals made less than one year later.
As spring training rapidly approaches, the bulk of the big-name free agents have already been signed. There are some remaining veterans who are, for the most part, viewed as "past their prime." Is there another Lance Berkman just waiting to be signed?