Free-agent first baseman Lance Berkman said Monday that four teams — the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros — have all contacted him to express interest in signing him.
Berkman has not yet decided whether he will return for the 2013 season, after he missed all but 32 games in 2012 because of an injury that required knee surgery. He played the last two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Berkman, who is volunteering as an assistant coach at Rice University, said he would need to be “blown away” by an offer to come back.
“If I’m going to hit third for a major-league team, then obviously there’s a compensation level that accompanies that,” Berkman said, according to The Houston Chronicle. “It’s just a matter whether the Astros would be willing to pay that or not. If they are not, no hard feelings. I just feel like if you are going to do a job you deserve to be paid somewhere in the ballpark where the job description entails.”
Berkman excelled in his last full season with the Cardinals in 2011, batting .301 with a .959 OPS while being a key contributor to St. Louis’ World Series-winning squad.