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The AL-East leading New York Yankees have added some bench depth and a former All-Star hours before the trade deadline. Lance Berkman is likely headed to the Yankees, but the Astros and Yanks are working out the final kinks. Here’s the trade in principle:
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The Astros plan to pay the Yankees $4 million to cover part of Berkman’s contract for the rest of this season and the 2011 option on his contract.
The Yanks and Indians also made a deal late Friday, with NY acquiring OF Austin Kearns for next-to-nothing.
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The Yankees added some outfield depth in acquiring the 30-year-old Kearns, who brings with him a .272 average with eight home runs. He’ll give NY a solid right-handed bat to combat lefties.
Berkman, meanwhile, is just another switch-hitter in the Yankees lineup, along with Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, and Nick Swisher. He’ll likely play some first base and outfield, but mostly as the team’s designated hitter. As a DH, Berkman could come alive in Yankee Stadium while not having to break down his body while in the field.
Berkman hasn’t had a Berkman-type year, as he has a .245 average with 13 HR and 49 RBI.
The Yankees aren’t likely done, and with the Rays acquiring Chad Qualls, the Red Sox may be under the gun to do something.