Call me greedy, but I have just one little, tiny request for the Red Sox before the July 31 trade deadline:
Oh, how wonderful life would be with Berkman playing right field in Fenway Park come August. Can you picture this: Berkman wearing his No. 17 jersey and playing catch in the outfield?
The birds would sing. The clouds would disperse. And it wouldn't rain in Boston for three months. The grass would never be greener in Fenway Park.
We'd have to ditch someone, obviously, but that'd be easy enough. What has Coco Crisp done for us lately? I love the guy, but he's not putting it together in a Sox uniform. He has never put it together in a Sox uniform. Crisp has one helluva glove, but it may be time for the Sox to part ways, pat him on the back, and say, "thanks for your service."
With Crisp gone and Berkman in, JD Drew would move to center field, a position where I think he'd be successful. Drew certainly doesn't have Crisp's range, but his glove is good enough to cover center field on a regular basis. His arm is strong enough, too.
You might think I'm crazy at this point, but just take a second to look at this lineup:
Now you'd be lying if you didn't like the look of that lineup.
With Berkman in, Kevin Youkilis could move back to the two-hole where he seems to be more comfortable. Dustin Pedroia would move down in the lineup, but what's the matter when your 1-5 hitters have the potential to be that ridiculous? Drew and Youkilis at the top of the lineup would have the best OBP numbers in baseball.
Berkman is a great player that is having a down year. At the same time, the Houston Astros are also have a down year. They're 31-40 and 5th in the National League Central as of Wednesday. They're staring up at Milwaukee, long and hard.
Are they sellers? Well, at this point in the season and factoring in that they are in the weakest division in baseball, not yet. But they could easily be in another week or two of bad games. If they sell, Berkman, who has struggled and has a high price tag ($14.5 in 2007), could be one of the first players on the market.
Even though Berkman's line (.255/.388/.383) isn't where it should be, the Sox could take a chance on him and bank on his career line (.301/.414/.556) to kick through. That would be a safe bet because Berkman has never had a bad season. Berkman hit 45 home runs and knocked in 136 RBI last year.
Berkman might be asking for his way out of Minute Maid Park by July. Berkman is hitting .216 with 2 home runs in 111 at-bats at home this season. On the road, he's been strong, posting a .290 batting average and hitting 6 of his 8 home runs in unfriendly territory.
June has been good for Berkman thus far. He's hitting .291 and slugging .491 with two home runs and five doubles. Berkman had only one double in all of April and May.
The real question is: what's Berkman worth? He's worth one of our premier pitching prospects (Michael Bowden), a top outfielder (David Murphy or Brandon Moss), and probably at least one more mid-level prospect (Justin Masterson, Kris Johnson, Jeff Natale?). He's certainly worth it.
So what does everyone think? Will the blades of grass in Fenway be brighter come August?