Lance Berkman has a bruised knee

Leave a comment

Bad news for Houston, as Lance Berkman was held out of today’s workout because of what the team is calling a “bruised” knee.  He didn’t bang it, but there is swelling and discomfort, which Berkman thinks he might have done while running the bases.

The team isn’t concerned, but Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll — not a doctor, but very knowledgeable about sports injuries all the same — says that a “bruise” absent any trauma suggests an arthritic problem.

It’s obviously way too early to tell if this is truly serious or if he’ll miss any real time. But injuries to Berkman may be less important to the Astros from a can-he-play perspective this season than they are from a can-we-trade-him perspective, what with him in a walk a year and the Astros showing no real intention to sign him to an extension, and the prospect of some chronic knee problem could hurt his trade value, even if he manages to suit up for Houston.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.