UPDATE: OK, so maybe the previous report was a little premature. Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that there’s nothing imminent with Lance Berkman, but adds that the Rockies have a “real shot” at signing him.
8:19 PM: Didn’t see this one coming.
The Rockies are close to a deal with free agent Lance Berkman, according to a tweet by Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
Berkman, who turns 35 in February, told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com last week that he still feels that he is capable of playing first base and the outfield. Still, it’s hard to see Colorado as a great fit for him. Berkman hasn’t played the outfield since 2007 and he would likely be part of a timeshare with Todd Helton at first base.
Renck has since expanded on his original tweet by saying that the Rockies have made an “aggressive push” for Berkman, but adds that it’s all in the player’s hands. We know that there are multiple teams in the mix — with the A’s reportedly being the “most aggressive” — so it’s no sure thing he’s Colorado-bound.
The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.
Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.
Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.