The New York Yankees acquired first baseman Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros, according to the New York Post, which will be officially announced Saturday.

The Astros, who will send the Yankees $4 million in the deal, will receive pitching prospect Mark Melancon and infield prospect Jimmy Paredes, the Post reports.

But before Berkman was traded, he said this:

“I’m a little nervous, a little apprehensive about this whole thing,” Berkman told Houston reporters. “I’m from Texas. Heck, I played at Rice. This city is like the womb. I feel comfortable here and to think about the possibility of going anywhere else is kind of scary.”

Sounds like New York is a perfect fit.

Anywayyyyssss….Berkman was acquired due to his proficiency against RHP. His switch-hitting ability deters managers from LOOGYing or ROOGYing, but the ideal usage of him would be as the left-handed side of a Marcus Thames platoon. Fat Elvis has killed RHP during his career (.307/.423/.592, .424 wOBA), and over the last three years, those numbers are nearly identical (.300/.424/.564).

This season however, he’s been less productive against RHP, but the line is still very good: .261/.395/.479, .382 wOBA. It’s not surprising he’s dipped a bit considering his knee issues, he’s 34, and has the body of a high school science teacher.

The old man skills are clearly there as he’s walked in 16.8% of his PAs, which is the best rate in baseball.

From the right-hand side, Thames is simply better. Better career and better this season. And considering Berkman is switching leagues, Thames as the optimal option against LHP is even clearer.

But, the left-handed side of a platoon gets about 70% of the PAs, so this is a nice upgrade over an alternative like Miranda. A very solid trade indeed.

We’re generally in favor of trading relievers for impact bats, but losing Melancon stings a little. First, we believe he’s a good relief prospect, despite the struggles in his brief MLB stints. He’ll likely be a cheap source of bullpen help over the next few years. He’s a good asset for the Astros. Second, Mark was nice enough to do an interview with us earlier in the year. We wish him the best of luck.



*Props to Marshall Seymour and Vizzini for also contributing to this post.