Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:
BERKMAN FINALIZES DEAL: Lance Berkman passed his physical on Monday and is now officially a member of the Texas Rangers. As Richard Durrett writes, Berkman is ready for the American League. If Berkman is healthy, there’s no question: he will contribute and he will be effective. But he’s still 37 years old. He has still had a number of injuries related to that right knee and calf over the past twelve months, and it will be ultimately be time that tells whether Berkman can be a significant part of this Ranger ball club in 2013.
LOOMING ARBITRATION: Derrick Goold and Anthony Castrovince write about the Cardinals’ lineup and the different arbitration situations they’re currently in. Basically, the Cardinals still have to worry about David Freese, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Marc Rzepczynski, and Edward Mujica. With all expected to get some sort of pay raise, the difference of cutting Lance Berkman and Kyle Lohse will probably be just about balanced out. For starters, it’s entirely possible to imagine a scenario where Motte and Freese make a combined $10 million at least. As for the other three relievers, it’s not unreasonable to think they could end up getting at least a couple million each. Hopefully most, if not all, of these cases will be resolved before going to a judge. Certainly more to come on this issue…
HEYMAN REVEALS BALLOT: As if there weren’t enough writers whose egos were as big as possible, Jon Heyman released his Hall of Fame ballot, which includes Craig Biggio, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell. Honestly, I don’t really care anymore. All of these ballots are pretty meaningless until we see the real vote total (which will be Wednesday at noon). I’m just a little sick of it. There are very valuable arguments to both sides. I happen to think guys like Bonds and Clemens should be in it, but I have no problem with people who think they shouldn’t be. Both are valid opinions, it really just comes down to what you make of the Hall of Fame and what you think it should stand for. My view is that it already has plenty of cheaters in it, and while I’m not condoning the use of steroids, if there was no testing and thus no wrongdoing, it’s unfair to hold those players to a higher standard compared to all of the players who have cheated in one way or another over the past several decades.