Berkman says Sox have shown interest


In need of a first baseman and some outfielders, the Red Sox have expressed interest in free agent Lance Berkman, who has played in both places.

Berkman, who was limited to 32 games last season because of a knee injury that required surgery, told the Houston Chronicle he has heard from the Red Sox, Phillies, Rays and Astros in what he described as “tire-kicking mode.”

“I’m waiting to be blown away by an offer,” said Berkman, who is working as a volunteer assistant coach at Rice University. “If I’m not, I’ll be out here.

“If somebody comes in and makes a deal that I can’t refuse, then I have to take it and go forward. That may not happen -- and if it doesn’t, I’m fine.”

Berkman, 36, said he is looking for a two-year deal. He played on a one-year, $12 million deal with St. Louis last season. In 2011, he hit .310 with 31 homers, 94 RBIs and a .959 OPS in 145 games.

“You never know if somebody is willing to do that or not,” he said.