Houston Astros’ first baseman Lance Berkman has told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that waiving his no-trade clause in a potential deal to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was not an “automatic yes.”

“That would be a long, hard thought. Especially because I’d rather go east than west.

“It would have to be a contender. There is absolutely no way I would consent to going somewhere that didn’t have a good chance not just to get to the playoffs, but to win the whole thing. That would be consideration No. 1.”

Not only would the Angels have to be in a better position in the standings for the Berkman to consider coming to Anaheim, the financial obligation ($8.5 million still due in 2010, $15 million option for 2011 or $2 million buyout) is probably too steep for the Angels to take on. Especially if the Astros are looking for the Halos top prospects in return for the 34 year old who is admittedly “not having a great year .”

From the Angels’ point of view, Berkman would be nice a bat to have in the lineup for sure, but they don’t really have a place to play him. With Jeff Mathis days away from returning, Mike Napoli will likely assume most of the first base duties for the remainder of the season.

Manager Mike Scioscia stated to Fanhouse’s Tom Krasovic that the Angels are not interested in a rental player at first base.

At this point, it would be a piece that you bring in that would help you past this year— make you better for the future also, I think that’s a deal that would be very attractive to [the front office].

It’s not out of the question that the Angels will be fine at first with Napoli possessing 30 home run potential power. However, with Erick Aybar ‘s knee injury, Angels regular third baseman Maicer Izturis being placed on the disabled, Brandon Wood ‘s offensive struggles, and Kevin Frandsen not being established as an everyday player in the majors, it would be in the Angels’ best interest to look for a third baseman instead of a first baseman.

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