Berkman actually had a no-trade clause and a $15 million 2011 option with the Astros. When he was traded, in order to agree to waive his NTC, he had the Yankees promise not to use his option. It’s not often a player Berkman’s age wants a team to promise not to pay him $15 million, so it was a pretty strong indication that he didn’t want to stay in the Bronx past this season.
Now he’s pretty much confirmed that.
Via the NY Daily News:
Would returning to the Bronx in a platoon role be to his liking?
“No, I don’t think so,” Berkman said. “I don’t like to platoon. If I was the manager I would platoon me because I’ve been so bad righthanded this year. But I don’t think that’s a permanent problem. I’ve never been as good righthanded as I have lefthanded, but I can certainly be a lot more competitive than I was this year. I like to play every day. The DH role is great but I also like to play the field. I feel like I’ve got something to offer still defensively.”
Now, Berkman isn’t disgruntled or anything like that. He understood what he was getting into before he waived his NTC. He’s here because he wants a chance to play in competitive games and get a shot at a World Series title. After this season, though, he’s looking to move on and get regular playing time again.
Besides, the Yankees have Jorge Posada under contract for another year. If he’s shown anything this season, it’s that he’s not capable of catching every day anymore. Between that and the fact that catching prospect Jesus Montero should be ready next year, Posada is likely to need a lot of playing time as the DH. There simply is no room for Berkman even if he wanted to come back next season.