Three to four years ago this, would be considered a blockbuster deal. In 2010, this is just another trade for a middle reliever with 20 career innings, and a minor league prospect with 10 career minor league homeruns.

Now this could be Berkman’s swan song, his final shot at glory.

Berkman, it appears, is on the path that many elite players take at one time or another; the road to retirement.

There has been a serious decline in Berkman’s production since 2006, specifically in his power numbers.

Statistically speaking, his home runs have seen a 45% drop since a career high of 45, while his on-base percentage and slugging percentage have seen better days.

A career-high OBP of .450 in 2004 has sunk to .367.  His slugging percentage, on the other hand, has taken a hit of nearly 200 points.

This information does indicate that his best years are far behind him, unfortunately, another statistic describes a different story.

A patient and selective hitter is Berkman. His career .409 OBP proves that, however his pitch selection could be off target.  His BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) peaked at .341, now sits at .279.

With all of this data at the Yankees fingertips, I do not see what role Berkman plays in this equation.

Obviously, he could play first base, his primary position, but Mark Teixeira, quite possibly the best defensive first baseman in the game, has that all but cornered.

Berkman could play in the outfield; then again, the Yanks have three highly capable options already there;

  • Curtis Granderson, who is having undoubtedly a disastrous year compared to previous one’s, cannot be benched: he is owed $5.5 million next year, $8.25 million in 2011 and $10 million in 2012, and his contract includes a $13 million club option for 2013 with a $2 million buyout , (this courtesy of ).
  • Nick Swisher is on pace to exceed previous bests in OBP and slugging
  • Brett Gardner is way better than advertise

Frankly, what role does Berkman play?  I am not quite sure

What was the Yankees primary reason in acquiring Berkman? Because they can

Do the Yankees have the best DH trifecta heading into the postseason, with Austin Kearns and Marcus Thames?  You had better believe it!

This article can also be found on The GM’s Perspective

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