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Pirates Checked on Lance Berkman

It seems that pursuing players who are considering retirement is the new market inefficiency. The Pittsburgh Pirates checked on Lance Berkman, according to Travis Sawchik, but were told that he’s leaning toward retirement.

Berkman is at the end of his career, and has been on a decline. He had a .700 OPS last year at the age of 37, and playing in Texas. He missed most of the previous year with an injury. I’m guessing the Pirates would have been looking at him for first base, although I feel there are much better options out there than a 38 year old Berkman.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • https://www.facebook.com/marty.leap Marty

    Huntington took a big risk here, had Berkman said yes the Bucs would’ve been in a real bad spot.

  • cabbo80

    Tim. Just wanted to check in and say I ordered the 2014 guide today. I have been a regular visitor all season and want to thank you and all who provide feedback, it’s really good stuff. Nothing groundbreaking with my first comment but I am a bit concerned with the pursuit of LB, seems like a step back for a team looking to progress. Stop gaps are for teams appeasing the fans. That phone call should have been made from NH directly to LB and started out with a “psst…please don’t tell anybody but…

    Just saying.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

      Thanks for buying the book and for reading the site!

  • OldTimeBucsFan

    I used to live in Houston and really liked Berkman back in the day. But I think his good days (and knees) are well behind him and this option makes no sense. I am comfortable with Gaby Sanchez as the 1B against LHP – I think he was mis- and over-used against RHP. I’d like either a full-time 1B or someone who can platoon with Sanchez. Despite his defensive issues, I think Kendrys Morales was one of the best candidates to consider. Unfortunately, he’s a Boras client and turned down a Qualifying offer from the Mariners. Our best option may be some new platoon option.

  • piratemike

    When does the other shoe fall and we find out that Burnitz also got a call……
    It is going to be a loooong cold off season.

  • csnumber23

    I don’t understand all the panic over Neal checking in with Berkman? Who is to say he wasn’t checking in as a bench player option? I would love to see the Big Puma come off our bench in key spots. With all his experience and clutch hitting that would be a huge weapon if that was there intention.

    • piratemike

      I don’t think anybody is panicking, I find it amusing.

  • http://hiddenvigorish.com Hidden Vigorish

    If the Pirates want a high mileage player with bad knees but good plate discipline to play some first base, Eric Chavez would be a much better choice than Lance Berkman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.martin.9003 Bob Martin

    I thought the Pirates were past the time where they sign washed up bums…Guess its business as usual on the North side of town.

  • Cato the Elder

    Much ado about nothing. Judging by the comments, you’d think Neal sent the man a blank check instead of made a phone call. Oh well, welcome to silly season.

  • jaygray007

    Even if Berkman was the worst signing ever, it would be worth it just because I think it’d be fun. A Berkman shirsey would be a necessity.

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