HOUSTON -- Slugger Lance Berkman wants to finish his career in Houston with the Astros, but the five-time All-Star said he'd consider waiving his no-trade clause later in the season if the Astros were struggling and the club could get prospects in return.
Berkman has said several times in recent years he'd be willing to waive his full no-trade clause if the situation was right, but his comments made to the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday reiterating that stance caused a minor media frenzy in Houston. Berkman called general manager Ed Wade on Wednesday night and told him he's still committed to the Astros.
"I thought that could be portrayed in the wrong light, and I wanted to make sure he knew that I'm not pulling the plug on this team yet, and I'm not demanding to be traded," Berkman said. "I'm perfectly content to be a Houston Astro. We were just talking hypothetical."
Wade said he appreciated the call nonetheless.
"I said it's no big deal," he said. "Players have the right to express comments and our goal is the same as everybody else's goal. We want to be in position where we don't have to make those types of decisions or consider making those types of decisions until June or July."
Berkman signed a six-year, $85 million contract prior to the 2005 season with a club option for '11 worth $15 million.
"If you get in a situation where you're playing .300 baseball and the organization wants to do something, who am I to stand in the way and hinder progress?" Berkman said. "Why would you do that if you knew it would be better for the organization as a whole and get a chance to go back to the playoffs or something like that? I'm not saying I want it to happen. I'm just saying I'm not going to say, 'Absolutely no way could that ever be a possibility.'"