Lance Berkman: Why Berkman Would Be a Bad Signing for the Philadelphia Phillies
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The Phillies need to pass on any deal.
Berkman, 36, is ideally looking for a two-year deal with his next team and prefers batting third. If the Phillies are going to sign a multi-year contract, it should be with a younger, more talented player with the potential for many seasons.
The Phillies have specific needs this offseason, mainly center field, third base, relief pitching and reserve first baseman—the latter being the least important. Berkman's only option in the field is first base, but his career as a fielder has passed. He is better suited in the American League as a DH.
The Phillies also have current options with John Mayberry Jr. or Darin Ruf, who could potentially play first base behind Ryan Howard. A signing of Kevin Youkilis would kill two birds with one stone—covering first and third. Signing Youk makes more sense than a limited, injury-prone Berkman.
Berkman did have a "fountain of youth"-type season two years ago, but knee surgery limited his play with the St. Louis Cardinals last season.
All in all, this is far too risky of a signing for the Phillies.
Ruben Amaro Jr. needs to concentrate on filling center field with a stud, since it appears most of the elite outfield free agents will likely land in the NL East this upcoming season.
Berkman's had a great career, and it may be time to hang the cleats and begin his coaching career at Rice University.
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