Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has a story posted on free agent Lance Berkman that’s pretty interesting reading for A’s fans. Among other things, Berkman says the A’s have been the “most aggressive” team in terms of making contact with him. He also says he’s fully recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery that hindered him the entire 2010 season, and that he considers himself ready to play first base or the outfield. Last year, Berkman was the Astros’ first baseman until his July 31 trade to the Yankees, who used him as a DH. The switch-hitter hasn’t played the outfield since 2007. Berkman told Rosenthal that he believes the A’s are searching for a DH, but that he still wants to play the field. He also notes the A’s have Daric Barton at first base and lots of outfielders already.
I reported the A’s had interest in Berkman in a Nov. 13 story, and from what I’m hearing, they might consider him on a one or two-year deal (Berkman turns 35 shortly before spring training begins). He’s coming off a down year offensively, hitting .248 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs. But he hit 25 homers as recently as 2009. I would expect the A’s are viewing him as a potential full-time DH. But all three of the A’s projected starting outfielders at this point — David DeJesus, Coco Crisp and Ryan Sweeney — battled injuries last season, so I’d say there’s a chance Berkman would get to play some outfield were he to join the A’s.
Of course, he’s just one of several power-hitting types who could make sense for Oakland. But how would you feel about Berkman’s name in the 2011 lineup?