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Report: Lance Berkman Traded To Yankees On Day Before Trade Deadline

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Less than 24 hours before Saturday's trade deadline, Jim Bowden of Fox Sports tweeted that the Houston Astros have dealt Lance Berkman to the New York Yankees.

Yankees get Berkman...will Tampa Bay Rays respond by trading for Dunn

Ken Rosenthal has not yet reported that this is a done deal, but acknowledges that an official announcement is likely, and tweets that the Yankees are strictly thinking short-term here:

#Yankees indeed moving quickly on Berkman, as others report. Team will NOT pick up 15M option as condition of deal; strictly a rental.

It has not yet been reported what the Astros will get in return. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates.

Earlier on Friday afternoon, the Houston Chronicle caught wind of the Yankees' interest in Berkman, and shed some light on Berkman's reciprocation of interest:

Berkman's close relationship with Andy Pettitte could end up being a huge factor in his decision to approve a deal.

Berkman called the prospect of joining the World Series champion Yankees "an intriguing possibility."

This move, if indeed it has happened, comes on the heels of the Astros trading away Roy Oswalt, another of their franchise's cornerstones. Berkman has spent his entire 12-year career in Houston, during which he established his status as one of the best hitters in the game. This year, Berkman is having his least impressive season to date, but his .808 OPS could still help the Yankees in a big way.

Berkman would figure to make most of his plate appearances in New York as a designated hitter, a spot that's been occupied as of late by catcher Jorge Posada.

This certainly lends more intrigue to this year's A.L. East race, and as Bowden noted, it will be interesting to see whether the rival Rays respond by making another push to acquire Nationals slugger Adam Dunn.

For more, check out our Yankees blog, Pinstripe Alley, and our Astros blog, The Crawfish Boxes.