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.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final seven Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.