ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The New York Yankees and Houston Astros have finalized a trade for first baseman Lance Berkman.
Berkman and cash considerations will head to the Yankees in exchange for pitcher Mark Melancon and minor league infielder Jimmy Paredes.
The 34-year-old Berkman had spent his entire career with the Astros and this season was batting just .245 with 13 homers and 49 runs batted in through 85 games. He began this season on the disabled list after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on March 13 to remove loose cartilage.
A Texas native who went to college at Rice University in Houston, Berkman had to waive his no-trade clause to accept the deal. He is expected to see most of his playing time as the designated hitter for the Yankees, while also spelling Mark Teixeira at first base.
The five-time All-Star is in the final year of a six-year contract and has a salary of $14.5 million this season. His deal has a $15 million club option for 2011 with a buyout of $2 million.
Over 12 major league seasons, Berkman is a .296 hitter with a .410 on-base percentage, 326 homers and 1,090 RBI.
It is the second major trade for the Astros this week, as the club sent ace Roy Oswalt to the Phillies on Thursday.
Melancon has spent most of the 2010 season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was 6-1 with a 3.67 earned run average in 40 appearances. In two games for the Yankees, he gave up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits in four innings.
The 25-year-old right-hander also appeared in 13 games for the Yankees last year and was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA.
Paredes, a 21-year-old middle infielder, was hitting .282 in 99 games for Single-A Charleston this season. He has a career .280 average in 265 minor league games.