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Berkman eager to meet Yankees' high standards

ST. PETERSBURG — Lance Berkman is ready for the expectations that go with wearing the pinstripes.

The Yankees sent RH reliever Mark Melancon and minor-league INF Jimmy Paredes to the Astros on Saturday for the five-time All-Star first baseman, who will be New York's DH. Houston will pay the Yankees $4 million as part of the deal.

"Ever since I've been active in professional baseball, the Yankees have either won the World Series or were extremely upset they didn't win the World Series," Berkman said. "That's a different deal. There's not another organization in the game that has kind of expectation."

Berkman went 0-for-4 against the Rays on Saturday.

The Yankees also acquired RH reliever Kerry Wood from the Indians.

"I think the upside is very good for us. I don't think there's a risk," manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously we have to go out and play well in a very high level and continue to win. I like the moves we made."

Other deals made by Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver trades:

• In a three-team trade, the NL Central-leading Cardinals got RHP Jake Westbrook from the Indians and sent OF Ryan Ludwick to the NL West-leading Padres. Westbrook, 32, is 6-7 with a 4.65 ERA in 21 starts. Ludwick, 32, is batting .281 with a .343 on-base percentage and a .484 slugging percentage, better numbers than any Padres outfielder.

St. Louis also acquired minor-league LHP Nick Greenwood from San Diego. The Padres sent Double-A RHP Corey Kluber to the Indians.

• The Dodgers acquired LHP Ted Lilly and INF Ryan Theriot from the Cubs for INF Blake DeWitt and minor-league RHPs Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach. Just before the deadline, the Dodgers boosted their bullpen by getting RH reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pirates for RHP James McDonald and minor-league OF Andrew Lambo.

• The Braves made a five-player deal to upgrade their outfield and an already formidable bullpen, acquiring Rick Ankiel and RHP Kyle Farnsworth from the Royals. The NL East leaders sent RH reliever Jesse Chavez, OF Gregor Blanco and minor-league LHP Tim Collins to Kansas City. The Braves also acquired OF Wilkin Ramirez from the Tigers for a player to be named or cash.

• The Red Sox acquired C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers for two minor-leaguers, a player to be named and cash. They also sent RH reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Giants for RHP prospect Daniel Turpen. San Francisco boosted its bullpen by acquiring LHP Javier Lopez from the Pirates for RHP Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker.

• The Diamondbacks sent C Chris Snyder, minor-league SS Pedro Ciriaco and cash to the Pirates for OF Ryan Church, former AL rookie of the year SS Bobby Crosby and RHP D.J. Carrasco.

• The Orioles traded LH reliever Will Ohman to the Marlins for RHP Rick VandenHurk.

HERZOG HONORED: The Cardinals retired former manager Whitey Herzog's No. 24 in a ceremony before the game against the Pirates. The sold-out Busch Stadium crowd gave the new Hall of Famer a prolonged standing ovation after owner Bill DeWitt made the announcement.

ASTROS: The club is close to a multiyear extension with RHP Brett Myers. Myers, 29, is having a career season, with a 3.10 ERA in 21 starts that would beat his previous best by 0.62.

A'S: RHP Boof Bonser, a former Gibbs standout, was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. LH reliever Cedrick Bowers, an ex-Rays farmhand, was optioned to Sacramento.

BRAVES: 2B Martin Prado broke the second knuckle on his right pinkie finger while diving into home Friday and is out at least a week. … Major League Baseball rescinded a four-game suspension for LH reliever Jonny Venters, deciding he didn't purposely throw at Brewers 1B Prince Fielder.

MARINERS: 1B Justin Smoak, the centerpiece of the trade that sent LHP Cliff Lee to the Rangers, was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma. Also, OF/DH Milton Bradley went on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right knee.

RANGERS: RF Josh Hamilton was scratched with patella tendinitis in his right knee.

RED SOX: OF Jeremy Hermida was designated for assignment, and OF Ryan Kalish, one of the team's top prospects, was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket.

ROYALS: Manager Ned Yost received a two-year extension that would keep him under contract through the 2012 season.

TIGERS: RHP Armando Galarraga, hit in his right ankle by a line drive by Boston's Kevin Youkilis on Friday, said he will make his next start.

Berkman eager to meet Yankees' high standards 07/31/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:56pm]
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