Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:
LANCE BERKMAN RUMORS: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees are now interested in signing Lance Berkman. I think Berkman will play in 2013. The reality is that he is still very interested in making the type of money that he knows he will only be able to make in the big leagues and he can still very much be a difference-maker. The only question is where, and I believe he will end up with the Rangers. If the Astros had any chance of being good in 2013, it would be a no-brainer, but I don’t think Berkman has an inclination to play for a team who is going to undoubtedly lose 100 games. So, I think he’ll take the next best thing and go up to Dallas, which is still relatively close to his home and family.
NEW CARDINALS MINOR LEAGUE COACHES: As I wrote yesterday on CardsBlog, The Cardinals named some Minor League coaches on Friday. Basically the most notable addition is Randy Niemann, who spent part of last season as the pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox under Bobby Valentine. Considering that he will oversee the progress of prospects including Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Jordan Swagerty, and Seth Blair, this is not an insignificant move. The other notable is Pop Warner returning for a second season with the Memphis Redbirds, where Bryan Eversgerd is being promoted to pitching coach.
VINCE COLEMAN: Rob Rains tweeted on Friday that Vince Coleman, 1 of only 2 players in MLB history to compile three 100-steal seasons, will serve as a minor-league baserunning instructor with the Houston Astros for the 2013 season. Really aren’t too many guys suited better for this position…
MATT CARPENTER WATCH: Jenifer Langosch detailed the work that Matt Carpenter is putting into competing for the starting second baseman job this Spring. The problem is that it’s Daniel Descalso‘s job to lose. He’s by far the most defensively sound of the bunch who are competing and the most experienced. If he can just put a decent bat on the ball during the Spring, which we have all seen him do, it’s hard for me to imagine that Descalso isn’t in the lineup come Opening Day.
DAYN PERRY’S NOT-HALL-OF-FAME-ALL-TEAM: Dayn Perry of CBS Sports gives his team of the best players to be fully rejected by the Hall of Fame, which includes six former Cardinals. I was hoping I would see someone who I would say “Wow they should be in the Hall of Fame,” but I think Perry does a nice job with this list. This truly is a list of very good ballplayers who just happen to fall a few hairs shy of being Hall-worthy.
DONTRELLE WILLIS: Remember him? Well, the 2003 N.L. ROY has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cubs that does not include an invitation to big league Spring Training. This comes after he retired in July of last year following another failed comeback try, that time with the Philadelphia Phillies. I guess it’s one of those low-risk, high-reward type situations, financially at least.