The Yankees last week declined 2011 options on Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood and Nick Johnson. It’s almost certain Johnson won’t be back in pinstripes next year, but I believe Berkman and Wood fit right into next year’s puzzle.
Just to clarify, the Yanks declined their options because of their overpriced contracts.
Berkman's option was for $15 million, Wood's for $11 million and Johnson's for $5.5 million.
On Soon-to-Be 35-Year-Old Berkman:
Although Berkman is bound for Houston again, I think Berkman at a discount would fit nicely with the Yankees in 2011. He’s definitely in line for a serious pay cut, as his six-year, $85 million deal just expired and his numbers are in great decline.
Unfortunately, it’s a “two-way street,” as my pal said. Berkman probably wants to go back home to Houston. Perhaps Andy Pettitte’s decision to return or not will impact Berkman’s. We’ll see how this all plays out, but I think the best-case scenario is he’s back in pinstripes on a one-year, $5 million deal with a club option.
On 33-Year-Old Wood:
Do I really have to explain? He allowed two earned in 26 innings for the Yankees in the second half. He earned a new contract. As far as I’m concerned, he’s first in line to take Mariano Rivera’s place if the unthinkable happens (or if he gets injured).