Lance Berkman has been contacted by the Red Sox, Rays, Phillies and Astros

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For someone who has been talking about retirement, Lance Berkman is a pretty popular guy.

Berkman told Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle today that he has been contacted by the Red Sox, Rays, Phillies and Astros, though nothing has advanced beyond “tire-kicking mode.” He’s “waiting to be blown away by an offer,” otherwise he’ll attend to his volunteer assistant coach job at Rice University.

Berkman met with Astros owner Jim Crane last week and said that new manager Bo Porter indicated that he would likely bat third and serve as the DH if he joins the club. The 36-year-old wouldn’t say what it would take for him to return to the Astros, but he wants to be compensated commensurate to where he’ll hit in the lineup.

“If I’m going to hit third for a major-league team, then obviously there’s a compensation level that accompanies that,” Berkman said. “It’s just a matter whether the Astros would be willing to pay that or not. If they are not, no hard feelings. I just feel like if you are going to do a job you deserve to be paid somewhere in the ballpark where the job description entails.”

The Astros are the sentimental favorite here and they’ll need a DH for their first season in the American League, but the other three options would give him a much better chance to win. However, after all his knee problems this year, it sounds like he’d be fine walking away from the game if he doesn’t find the right offer in the right situation.

Braves senior advisor John Hart Resigns

Associated Press
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Braves senior advisor John Hart announced his resignation today.

Hart, who was once the team’s GM, then returned to the role on an interim basis following the dismissal of John Coppolella in the wake of MLB’s investigation into the team’s practices in Latin America. With the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos as the team’s new General Manager, Hart was shuttled into a senior advisor role with no final say over baseball decisions. It was expected that he’d leave the organization once his contract was up at the end of the year, but he decided to quit now.

One wonders if he was merely getting on with the inevitable or if his early resignation is a sign that the results of MLB’s investigation will be such that he doesn’t want to be around when they come down.