The Astros traded first baseman Lance Berkman to the Yankees on Friday night for right-hander Mark Melancon and infield prospect Jimmy Paredes. Berkman went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his debut as the Yanks’ new designated hitter on Saturday, but most people like the fit and believe he will be plenty productive for the 27-time World Series champs as they try for their 28th. Of course, everyone has a different opinion, and that’s why we play this “What They Are Saying About…” game.
- As Craig pointed out early Saturday morning, SI.com’s Jeff Pearlman thinks that Berkman is not “meant for New York” because he is an “off-the-charts right-winger” and because he has spent most of his adult life in the state of Texas. Of course, that has nothing to do with baseball and it seems like political conversations can be easily avoided in a major league locker room.
- Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees’ trade deadline moves, including the additions of Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns, scream of “insecurity.” Lupica calls them “sidebars” to Roy Oswalt, who he thinks would have been the real catch.
- FanGraphs’ David Golebiewski thinks that Berkman’s production at the plate “should pick up” in the cozy confines of the new Yankee Stadium, “though not to the level of his glory days.” No surprise there. He is 34, after all.
- Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle says that the Berkman trade “put an end to the Astros as they were known to half a generation of fans.” He’s probably right, and it’s hard to see that as a bad thing. The ‘Stros got younger this trade deadline and they also shrunk their payroll — two things that needed to be done in order to ensure a quality future.
- Joseph Pawlikowski of the Yankees blog River Ave. Blues notes that Berkman has “gotten better from May through July,” and is now hitting with more power while also drawing more walks. If he can play to his full potential, Pawlikowski writes, Berkman may be “the complete package in New York: a lefty who can spray the ball the other way but still take it over the short porch.”
The new Yankees DH is batting .242/.367/.430 on the season with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 302 at-bats. He had a .221/.388/.494 batting line in the month of July. The Yankees, meanwhile, are two games ahead of the Rays in the American League East with a MLB-best 66-37 record.