Rebuked in their efforts to obtain Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder, the White Sox have turned to Houston in an effort to bolster the left-handed side of their lineup.

The Astros are definitely willing to part with Berkman, who is having a rough season in Houston.

The ‘Stros first baseman is hitting just .245, though he has an impressive .372 OBP. He has drawn 60 walks, but his power totals are down from his career averages.

After averaging 33 homers per 162 games in his career, Berkman is on pace to bag 22 this year. But this is in line with his recent play, as he has hit 29 and 25 the last two seasons, following campaigns of 45 and 35 the previous two years.

The White Sox, who look to be on their way to the postseason, may be looking to Berkman for his playoff experience as well as his switch-hitting bat. He has a .321/.428/.566 slash in 29 career postseason games.

Berkman has a no-trade clause and can veto any deal. About $5.4 million remains on Berkman’s $14.5 million salary this season. The Astros hold a $15 million option for next year, but they can buy it out for $2 million.

Astros GM Ed Wade thinks that recently acquired Brett Wallace is their heir apparent at first base to Berkman.

Meanwhile, the Sox would likely look to Berkman to be their DH the rest of this season and possibly replace Paul Konerko at first if the free-agent-to-be leaves as expected.

Unlike Dunn or Fielder, the Sox could potentially obtain Berkman without having to consider moving Gordon Beckham, who is off-limits now to other clubs.

In fact, depending on how much of Berkman’s contract they are willing to assume, the Sox may be able to get the slugging first baseman without even having to surrender Daniel Hudson.

Another potential target for Sox GM Kenny Williams is Colorado’s Brad Hawpe, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Hawpe has a disappointing .259/.337/.439 line. The 31-year-old has about $2.8MM remaining on his contract this year and will earn $10MM in 2011 with a $500K buyout.

Of course, it’s also possible that the trade deadline passes without any movement from the Sox. While this does not seem very Kenny Williams-like, the asking price on many of the available players has simply been astronomical this year.

Berkman to the Sox has legs, and those legs could be off and running as soon as Friday.

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