And now, via Joel Sherman, we've got all the necessary details we need to put this Yankees/Astros Lance Berkman trade in order. Hit it, Joel:
Have heard #Astros are paying $4 million of the $7.5 million Berkman is owed between 2010 salary and buyout
Heard #Yankees are sending T-A reliever Mark Melancon and Low-A infielder Jimmy Paredes to #Astros for Berkman
So the Astros pay the narrow majority of the money left that's due Berkman. More important for them here, though, are the players. Melancon is a 25 year old righty reliever with a fastball in the low- to mid-90s, a curve, and a change. He's previously posted good numbers and had a big year in AAA in 2009, but he's taken a step back this season, and there are questions of whether he can translate his success into the Majors. Paredes is a quick, athletic 21 year old middle infielder. With A-ball Charleston, he's batted .282/.312/.408 with 18 walks and 82 strikeouts. Like Melancon, there's obvious ability, but like Melancon, Paredes is a fringe prospect on his best days. Safe to say the Astros didn't really get much of anything here, other than $3.5m of salary relief.
They will have an excellent chance of bringing Berkman back in the offseason as a free agent. Berkman has spent his entire career with the Astros after being born in Waco and going to school at Rice.