The Pittsburgh Pirates have shown interest in a lot of players this off-season, although most of those players have been pitchers. In an interview with Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, former Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman lists the Pirates as one of the teams that has contacted him expressing their interest. Berkman also lists the Cardinals, Cube, Rockies, A’s, and Blue Jays as other teams that have contacted him, although he mentions that he hasn’t received a specific offer yet.
Berkman has been on a bit of a decline the last few years. After posting a .312/.420/.567 line in 554 at-bats in 2008, he slipped to a .274/.399/.509 line in 460 at-bats in 2009. Things fell apart in 2010 when he started off with a .245/.372/.436 line in 298 at-bats with the Astros. He was then traded to the New York Yankees, where he finished the season with a .255/.358/.349 line in 106 at-bats.
He turns 35 in February, and has seen a decline in his production in each of the past two seasons. He’s also a defensive liability, although that wouldn’t be as bad at first base. His home run totals have dropped each year since 2006, going from 45 in 2006 to 34 in 2007, 29 in 2008, 25 in 2009, and 14 in 2010. Berkman seems like he’d be more of a Jeromy Burnitz type veteran signing, rather than a Reggie Sanders type veteran signing. Count me as a person who isn’t interested in seeing Berkman with the Pirates in 2011.