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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Yankees make Berkman trade official

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jul 31, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Here’s the official announcement

The New York Yankees today acquired first baseman/designated hitter Lance Berkman and cash considerations from the Houston Astros in exchange for right-handed pitcher Mark Melancon and minor league infielder Jimmy Paredes.

Berkman, 34, batted .245 (73-for-298) with 39 runs, 16 doubles, 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 85 games with the Astros this season. He leads all Major Leaguers, averaging just 5.97 plate appearances per walk and ranks fifth overall in the Majors with 60 walks. The switch-hitter has batted .261 (61-for-234) with 13 doubles and 12 home runs as a left-handed batter in 2010, and .188 (12-for-64) with three doubles and one home run from the right side of the plate.

He has seen all his action at first base in 2010, committing just one error in 769 total chances and ranking third among all Major League first basemen with a .999 fielding percentage.

Originally selected by the Houston Astros in the first round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft, Berkman is a career .296 hitter with 375 doubles, 326 home runs, 1,090 RBI and a .410 on-base percentage in 1,592 games over parts of 12 seasons, all with the Astros (1999-2010). He departs the Astros ranking second in franchise history in home runs, third in runs scored (1,008), doubles and runs batted in, fourth in games played and fifth in at-bats (5,560) and hits (1,648).

Berkman is a five-time All-Star (2001-02, ’04, ’06 and ’08), finishing in the top seven in National League MVP voting in each of those seasons. He ranks fifth all time in career home runs by a switch-hitter (326) and is one of only seven switch-hitters in Baseball history to reach the 300 home run plateau. From 2000 to 2009, he hit at least 20 home runs in each of the 10 seasons, becoming the 11th player in Major League history to hit at least 20 home runs in each year of a decade, joining Carlos Lee and now-teammate Alex Rodriguez as the only players to accomplish the feat.

In limited action (12 games) as a designated hitter in his career, Berkman owns a .378 (17-for-45) batting average with two home runs. A native of Texas, he grew up in Austin and attended Rice University in Houston.

Melancon, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the ninth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. He went 6-1 with six saves and a 3.67 ERA in 40 relief appearances with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. Melancon also appeared in two games with the Yankees in 2010, allowing four earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched (9.00 ERA) without recording a decision. In 15 career Major League relief appearances with the Yankees (2009-10), he has gone 0-1 with a 4.87 ERA (20.1IP, 11ER).

Paredes, 21, was batting .282 (114-for-404) in 99 games with Single-A Charleston this season, collecting 59 runs, 24 doubles, six triples, five home runs, 48 RBI and 36 stolen bases. He is tied for 13th among all Single-A players in stolen bases in 2010 and led the RiverDogs in hits, total bases (165) and stolen bases. Originally signed by Yankees as minor league free agent on July 2, 2006, Paredes was named by Baseball America as the 14th-best prospect in the New York-Penn League following the 2009 season.





55 Responses to “Yankees make Berkman trade official”

  1. jesusmonterofordh July 31st, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    welcome to NYY lance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    This young guy Tomlin that’s pitching for Cleveland is impressive again, so far. He seems to have the guts of Greg Maddux. If he ever gets that size of a strike zone, look out. retired the first 6 batters, the last 3 on strikeouts.

  3. Nick in SF July 31st, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Joe West just filed an injuction against letting Berkman appear in the same lineup as Swisher and Gardner.

  4. Rich in NJ July 31st, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I think the overlooked rationale behind the two trades is that they provide offensive depth if the health of Posada and/or Alex reduces their production, or if Jeter’s slide continues.

  5. Bret The Hitman July 31st, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    How did Cleveland get Tomlin?


  6. Rich in NJ July 31st, 2010 at 1:41 pm


    In order to succeed in a court of equity you must have clean hands. West doesn’t.

    /twisted lawyer humor

  7. CB July 31st, 2010 at 1:41 pm



    The trades for Berkman and Kearns very much have the feel of those great late season trades the Yanks made in the late 1990’s for guys like Fielder, Justice, etc.

    Other teams could have made those moves. At first it looked like the yanks would be covering most if not all of Berkman’s money. But that turned out not to be the case. I’d imagine if a team offered the Astros better prospects they would have picked up more of the owed money. Lance Berkman, even now, is a better hitter than Jorge Cantu, for example, a guy the Rangers added for his bat and to who they are paying 1.5M.

    The Red Sox are desperate for OF help. They couldn’t have used Kearns?

    The best organizations, regardless of industry, are the ones that are honest with themselves, are self-critical and committed to try to continuously improve how they execute and perform. They are not satisfied with even being excellent. They are always striving to be better.

    That’s the kind of organization the Yankees have become.

  8. pat July 31st, 2010 at 1:44 pm


    Puma hoods in the Bronx?

  9. Bret The Hitman July 31st, 2010 at 1:45 pm


    #Yankees could send down MIranda/Curtis for Kearns/Berkman, but is there value in having Thames and Kearns together on roster?

    #Yankees still trying to upgrade on Pena as backup IF, player almost certainly has to be able to play 3b and SS

  10. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Paredes seems to be able to hit and he steals his bases, but, he also gets thrown out a lot. The one thing that he can’t do is field a lick at any position and he’s never seen ball 4.

  11. SJ44 July 31st, 2010 at 1:46 pm


    Yes. He was a 14th round draft pick a few years ago.

  12. 86w183 July 31st, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Tomlin was a draft pick in 2006

    So far he looks like a 19th round steal, but there’s a long way to go

  13. Nick in SF July 31st, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    pat, I can see that catching on… in October.

  14. Anthony Murillo July 31st, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Why is Heyman saying the Yankees could get involved on Manny?

    Why? Why?

  15. Rich in NJ July 31st, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Never pay attention to what Heyman says about a Boras client.

  16. Giuseppe Franco July 31st, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    # Anthony Murillo July 31st, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Why is Heyman saying the Yankees could get involved on Manny?

    Why? Why?


    Reason #1000 why I’ve always said Heyman is full of BS.

  17. blake July 31st, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Because Heyman can’t report anything without speculating that the Yankees are involved.

  18. Joe from Long Island July 31st, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hi CB- I had the same thought about David Justice. Even if Berkman turns out to be a rental, I think it was a good deal for this year. I still think Cash is going all out for a relief pitcher, if he can do it without being ripped off.

    You know what is a story today? The rumors about LA trading Manny. To me, that signifies that they are out of it, and unloading payroll. Is it true that the Twins now have a large payroll than big-market Dodgers? That McCourt divorce is killing that franchise. No wonder Torre wants out. I could see him going to the Cubs next year, if he wants to continue managing. He would do well in Chicago.

    Off to Saturday chores. Later.

  19. Bret The Hitman July 31st, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Heyman is saying nothing right now.

    and has nothing to say obviously since the Berkman deal.

  20. SJ44 July 31st, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Why? Because Heyman is a Boras shill, Manny is represented by Boras, and he is trying to get a message through the media from Boras to move some teams in the direction of trading for Manny.

    That’s what Heyman does. He’s Scott’s best PR guy in the biz.

  21. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Well, now the ladies in pinstripes will be able to claim their own cougar (Puma).

  22. Bret The Hitman July 31st, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Stark: Dodgers highly unlikely to move Manny.

  23. MTU July 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    Don’t even give a second thought. The Yankees know better than place a piece of rancid meat in their clubhouse. ;)

  24. Ed July 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    “#Yankees still trying to upgrade on Pena as backup IF, player almost certainly has to be able to play 3b and SS”

    Joe Inglett!!!!!!

  25. kd July 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    it’s all about ratings. if the yankees are in on everybody, then all the anti-yankee people can throw their arms up in the air and scream bloody murder

  26. blake July 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Heyman can report nothing without speculating that the Yankees are involved.

  27. Bret The Hitman July 31st, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Heyman says Tim Brown of Yahoo says Yankees inquired about Manny.

    I suspect before Berkman deal.

  28. pakz July 31st, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    berkman is this year’s david justice.

  29. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I always thought that the real key pick-ups in the 90s for the title runs were Raines and Strawberry.

  30. Anthony Murillo July 31st, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I hope Manny stays in the NL for the rest of his career. He still gives me nightmares about what he did to us…

  31. pat July 31st, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    “Why is Heyman saying the Yankees could get involved on Manny?”

    Heyman is saying Tim Brown is saying it.

  32. blake July 31st, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    12:53pm: Stark tweets that the Dodgers and Cubs are on the verge of a deal that would send Lilly and Theriot to L.A.

  33. Apple byte July 31st, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    A guess says Berkman will get the No. 17 he had in Houston. Kearns could get No. 12.

  34. CB July 31st, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Raines and Strawberry were great additions. The Yanks did so well adding veterans players for the stretch run to fine tune their teams. These trades have that feeling.

    I loved Raines in particular. What a great ball player. He may be the best ball player not in the hall of fame who is eligible. He’s a no doubt hall of famer being overlooked just because he happened to play when Henderson did.

  35. MTU July 31st, 2010 at 1:57 pm


    There goes Theriot. Sh*t. :(

  36. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The LA Mystery Team must have the worst GM in baseball. They are in on every big trade and FA signing but never seem to close the deal.

  37. blake July 31st, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Rock Raines should certainly be in the HOF

    Lot of night games for a Saturday…is that because of the deadline?

  38. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    CB, for a guy that was supposed to be a singles and doubles/steals guy, Raines always seemed to break opposition hearts with late inning homers. He should have been in the HOF years ago.

  39. Rishi July 31st, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    SI_JonHeyman #yankees out of ramirez, if they were ever in
    less than a minute ago via web

  40. Bill D July 31st, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    “Rock Raines should certainly be in the HOF”


    Re: Saturday night games…There’s always a lot. FOX has exclusive rights from 4:15 to 7. Usually only two or three 1 PM starts on Saturday.

  41. Bret The Hitman July 31st, 2010 at 2:02 pm


    No Theriot eliminates Marmol + Theriot package.


    Soria + Bloomquist package still alive.

    Bloomquist career experience

    Total as 3B 114
    Total as SS 150

  42. Bill D July 31st, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Lilly and Theriot to Dodgers apparently is done.

  43. blake July 31st, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Bill D,

    maybe you’re right…just seemed like there were more tonight to me for some reason.

  44. Keeb13r July 31st, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    How long is Berkman under contract for?

  45. MystiqueAura July 31st, 2010 at 2:04 pm


    Lilly and Theriot for DeWitt — #Cubs to #Dodgers is done

  46. GreenBeret7 July 31st, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Ed Price is talking about a Luke Scott or Will Ohman trade to Tampa.

  47. MaineYankee July 31st, 2010 at 2:06 pm


    What may be hurting Raines was playing for the Expos.

    If it was the Yankees or RS he would be in.

  48. blake July 31st, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    new post.

  49. tampayank July 31st, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    will Berkman make it Tampa by tonight’s game?

  50. CB July 31st, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I really don’t understand the Cardinals trading Ludwick for Jake Westbrook. That’s a bad deal. Ludwick is a really solid player who isn’t expensive. To only get Westbrook back is a poor deal. I know the Cards need pitching but they also aren’t scoring much in the way of runs.

    Tony Larussa’s use of Colby Rasmus is also strange. Not even Torre would have used him like this. Just let him play.

  51. Ghost of Steinbrenner July 31st, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Will Lance be available for tonights game?

  52. Yogi Mantle July 31st, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I would really like to see the White Sox getting Manny. I just wonder whose head would explode first, Manny’s or Ozzie’s.

    The presser after a Manny being Manny moment would be worth paying admission for. lol.

  53. Bill D July 31st, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Law’s take on Berkman deal:

    Lance Berkman isn’t what he was a few years ago — his body has slowed down and it’s affected every aspect of his game. However, if you don’t think of him as the MVP candidate he was in the middle of the past decade and think of him instead as a (very wealthy) tactical weapon for the Yankees — a platoon bat who can hit some and get on base against right-handed pitchers but not against southpaws — he makes some sense.

    Allowing Berkman to DH against righties gives the Yanks the on-base machine they thought they were getting before Nick Johnson hit the disabled list, and limiting Berkman’s time in the field won’t hurt his bat and could in fact help it. He shouldn’t start against left-handed pitchers, but the acquisition of Austin Kearns gives them the platoon-mate Berkman needs as well as a defensive replacement in either outfield corner.

    Houston could easily have gotten nothing in this deal, but both guys coming back their way have some value. Mark Melancon’s arm action is a train wreck, but he has power stuff, including a 92 to 94 mph fastball, a power curve in the low- to mid-80s and a hard change. On the right night, he’ll show three above-average pitches. He had good control throughout his minor league career but has seen his Triple-A walk rate nearly triple this season. He’s already had Tommy John surgery in 2006, and his delivery is not easy on the elbow, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he got hurt again. But until then he’s a potential late-game option for Houston, possibly even a cheap closer.

    Johnny Paredes is a toolsy, athletic infielder without a clear position. He could end up in centerfield long term, but he is still very crude overall and his swing and body don’t point to future power. He needs to learn to take a walk more than once every week and a half.

  54. mascharfman August 14th, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Cashman’s mind must have slipped a gear. Look at the Yankees record since acquiring L. Berkman; we have not played so poorly in decades. Loosing us 2 games at first base is just the start, it appears that he has brought his loosing attitude to the club house and now it seems as if the Yankees are one of the worst clubs in the last three weeks. Sending the kids down and putting Berkman in their place has taken the energy and life right out of the team. Putting him in the lineup has now put everyone off of their game. It is a shame that while we were winning at an amazing percentage, by the addition of Berkman we are now playing worse than Baltimore. Get rid of him before we hit the point of no return, which in my opinion appears to be in about two and a half weeks. I hope I am wrong. The hardest thing for me, would be that I would have to say, “I told you so!!!”

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