REPORT: Yankees acquire Lance Berkman from Astros

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UPDATE: Oh boy. Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Astros are covering $4 million the $7.5 million remaining on Berkman’s contract. Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Astros are covering $3 million.

Doesn’t matter. I hear Ed Wade is also giving Berkman a complimentary piggyback ride to meet up with his new team at Tropicana Field.

7:08 PM: So much for reloading. According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, not only are the Yankees not giving up any major prospects for Berkman, but the Astros are picking up “a lot” of his remaining contract.

6:21 PM: It’s official. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Lance Berkman has consented to waive his no-trade rights and will head to the Yankees. We’ll still have to wait 24 hours due to his 10-5 rights, but this thing is done. It’s not yet known who the Astros will receive in return or if they were willing to eat any of his contract.

Berkman, 34, is owed roughly $5 million for the rest of this season and his contract includes a $15 million team option for 2011 or a $2 million buyout. He requested that his option not be picked up in a trade (and don’t worry, it won’t be), so Berkman will make about $7 million guaranteed.

On paper, Berkman will be the everyday designated hitter for the Yankees moving forward, but perhaps the most interesting angle of this thing is how Joe Girardi will split up the playing time  if Jorge Posada is only available to play behind the plate a few times a week. Ah, what am I saying? It must be tough to be a Yankees fan.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.