Report: Red Sox Have ‘Kicked Tires’ On Lance Berkman

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and the Red Sox still don’t have a first baseman for the 2013 season. According to one free agent, though, the Sox are doing their due diligence.

Free agent Lance Berkman told the Houston Chronicle that the Red Sox have reached out to Berkman, along with three other teams in what Berkman deemed to be “tire-kicking” mode.

Berkman doesn’t seem overly eager to play anywhere for short money though, as he told the newspaper that if he doesn’t receive an offer that doesn’t leave him “blown away,” he’ll be happy to work as a volunteer assistant coach at Rice University. Berkman said he’s looking for a two-year deal.

Berkman will turn 37 years old in February. He played just 32 games due to knee problems last year for the Cardinals after having a career renaissance in 2011, when he hit .301 with 31 homers, 94 RBIs and a .959 OPS for the world champs. Berkman was paid $103 million from 2005-12, averaging a little under $13 million per year. He made $12 million last season.

The Red Sox traded away Adrian Gonzalez last August, with James Loney going to Boston to fill the void at first. Loney hit just .230 in his time with the Sox, and he is now a free agent.

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