UPDATE: Yankees "on verge" of trade for Lance Berkman


UPDATE: A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that Berkman gave approval of a trade to the Yankees earlier today, however he can waive the trade anytime in the next 24 hours because of his 10-5 rights. As such, this trade probably won’t be official until tomorrow afternoon.
5:10 PM: Earlier this afternoon Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Yankees were “definitely in for Lance Berkman” and “considering him seriously.”
And now Sherman is reporting that a deal sending Berkman from Houston to New York is “on verge of completion.”
No word yet on what the Astros will be getting back or how much salary they’ll have to eat to get it done, but Houston acquired who they hope will be Berkman’s long-term replacement at first base when they got Brett Wallace from the Blue Jays yesterday.
Berkman would be the full-time designated hitter in New York. His current OPS is a career-low .808 after 10 straight seasons above .890, but the 34-year-old switch-hitter has posted an .850 mark since June 1.
Berkman is making $14.5 million this season and his contract has a $15 million option or $2 million buyout for 2011. In other words, he’d be strictly a two-month rental.

Red Sox sign Christian Vazquez to three-year, $13.55 million extension

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The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.

The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.

Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.