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.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.