Now that the Oakland Athletics have added David DeJesus to their lineup, ESPN.com and Baseball America writer Jerry Crasnick is reporting the A's have Lance Berkman on their radar as a possible designated hitter next season.
Now that the A's have upgraded their offense with David DeJesus, they have Lance Berkman on their radar as a potential DH in 2011.
In 2010 the A's primary designated hitter was Jack Cust. Over 112 games Cust hit .272 with an OPS of .834, which came in large part due to a monster .395 on base percentage. Berkman had a fairly horrendous 2010 season split between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. In 122 total games Berkman hit .248 with an OPS of .781. He didn't get a ton of playing time in New York, but during his Houston time he hit .245 with an OPS of .808. Berkman's numbers have continuously decreased since his monster 2006 season.
I'm a big fan of the DeJesus trade because a strong doubles hitter can be a big benefit in the spacious confines of the Coliseum. However, signing Lance Berkman would be a bit of a risky deal, even if it was short term. If the team was adding a DH I'd personally prefer they make a run at Adam Dunn. I don't expect the Athletics to land Dunn, but in a perfect world he would be a perfect addition to the lineup. He would instantly become the most explosive hitter in the A's lineup and give them a power presence they sorely need.
I'm convinced that adding Dunn would be the one move that could put this team over the top. It would cost a decent amount of money, but considering his last contract was a two year, $20 million deal I'd certainly think they could make a reasonable offer. Considering how much power he brings and his ability to draw a lot of walks, he would bring a huge jolt to the middle of the A's lineup. I'm not holding my breath for it to happen, but it's a move that would pay huge dividends.