Yanks get Berkman (it’s official)
Here’s the press release via LoHud:
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.
The Astros will provide $4M in salary relief to cover the $7M Berkman is due for the rest of the season. Big Puma will likely be in the lineup tonight, against Tampa Bay. Where he will bat is unknown at this point in time.