C.J. Wilson makes Lance Berkman pitch
Wilson made the comments on the Ben & Skin Show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM on Monday. A source told Ben Rogers, one of the show's hosts, that the Rangers were interested in Berkman, who reportedly has cleared waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
"You have to think about the needs of the team and the needs of the other teams that would potentially (be) going after him as well," Wilson said Monday. "It'd be great for us to get him because the Angels could use him a lot. ... Lance Berkman is a good player. He can play first base. He can play the outfield."
The Rangers lead the Los Angeles Angels by three games in the AL West.
With Nelson Cruz expected to miss three weeks with a strained left hamstring, the Rangers could be in the market for an additional outfielder. In order for any player to be eligible for the postseason, they must be on the team by September 1.
The Rangers were interested in Berkman over the offseason, but the veteran signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals. He has played well, hitting .289 with 30 homers and 81 RBIs. The Rangers have the prospects to deal for Berkman and if he doesn't re-sign in Texas, the Rangers would receive two draft picks in 2012.
"More than likely, if we make any moves, they'll be from inside the organization," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan, however, told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Galloway and Company on Monday that the team is examining all possibilities, including Berkman.
"Obviously with Nellie going out like he is, not knowing when he's going to be back and we got a tough schedule ahead of us, anything we can do to help the ballclub, we're certainly going to look at it," Ryan said. "Lance is having an outstanding year with the Cardinals. So is that a possibility? I guess you could say it's remote, but ... with a player of Lance's caliber, if that's a possibility, you certainly have to give it consideration."
Wilson said he and Berkman talked and moved on this summer after Berkman had said during the offseason that the Rangers were essentially a one-team wonder.
"I felt like if they didn't re-sign Cliff Lee that they were going to be an average team, and I feel that's probably what's going to end up happening," Berkman said on a Houston radio station in the offseason. "It's all about your pitching. I feel like last year was one of those special years where you kind of catch lightning in a bottle and they got hot and they had some guys that I felt like were pitching better than their talent level and consequently they had a great year."
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At the time, Wilson wasn't thrilled with the comments and expressed confidence the Rangers would be a contender again.
On Monday, Wilson said Berkman left him a handwritten note in his locker at the All-Star Game to congratulate him and the Rangers on a good first half.
"It said, 'Hey, man, just wanted to say congratulations. The team has been doing really well and you've been pitching really great,'" Wilson said. "He wrote, 'This isn't the first time I've been wrong about something. No hard feelings. Hope we see you in the playoffs.'"
Wilson said he talked to Berkman a few days after that and thanked him for the note. So Wilson would have no issues with the Rangers pursuing Berkman if they believe that's the right deal to help the team down the stretch.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.