The Red Sox still don’t have a starting first baseman — at least officially — for the upcoming season, and the market is now a little thinner with Lance Berkman reportedly signing a one-year deal with the Rangers.
The Sox did do their homework on Berkman, though. According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, Boston showed interest in the 36-year-old, but the negotiations never gained momentum due to Berkman’s “geographical preferences.”
Berkman, a Texas native, spent his entire career with the Astros before being dealt to the Yankees prior to the 2010 trade deadline. He then signed as a free agent with the Cardinals after the season, and spent his last two campaigns in St. Louis.
Berkman hit .259 with two home runs and seven RBIs in just 32 games in 2012, a season plagued by injuries. In 2011, the six-time All-Star hit .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs while getting on base at a .412 clip.
It makes sense that the Red Sox at least inquired about Berkman, whose deal with Texas is reportedly worth $10 million for one season, with a vesting option for a second year. While reports indicated that the Sox agreed to a three-year pact with first baseman Mike Napoli, the team hasn’t made the deal official, and recent reports indicate that a hip issue could be to blame.