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St. Louis Cardinals: Who Will Replace Lance Berkman If He Retires?

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St. Louis Cardinals: Who Will Replace Lance Berkman If He Retires?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When Lance Berkman decides it is time to hang up his cleats for good, the St. Louis Cardinals will be left to make a tough decision about their long-term future at first base.

Berkman won’t play baseball forever. In fact, if anything can be read into his comments, there is a good chance he won’t play beyond this season.

In a recent interview with Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Berkman made it clear that retirement is a possibility:

"I don't want to rule anything out. But if you asked me right now I'm leaning toward not playing next year," Berkman said. "I don't want to say for certain because I don't want to do like Brett Favre and say, 'I retired; I'm not retired; I'm retired; I'm not retired.' I don't want to make that call right now, but if you put a gun to my head and demand an answer today I would tell you I'm probably not going to play next year."

While he left open the possibility for a return, there is still no guarantee he would be returning to St. Louis if he does choose to play again.

That leaves an important question: If Berkman retires, who is the Cardinals' future first baseman? The answer is not as black and white as some might think.

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