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.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.