Lance Berkman is a realist regarding his standing with the Yankees. As much fun as he's having chasing his first World Series ring, he said Friday he doesn't expect to be wearing pinstripes next year.

Berkman, whom the Yankees acquired from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline, is eligible to become a free agent after the season and hopes to land a full-time job somewhere, preferably as a first baseman in the National League.

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Berkman, 34, has been a platoon player for the Yankees, used mostly as the designated hitter on days when they face a righthanded pitcher.

When Berkman was asked Friday if he would be open to returning to the Yankees next season in a similar role, he said: "I don't think so. I don't like to platoon. If I was the manager, I would platoon me because I've been so bad righthanded this year. But I don't think that's a permanent problem. I've never been as good righthanded as I've been lefthanded, but I could certainly be a lot more competitive than this year. And I like to play every day."

Berkman batted .267 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs in 322 at-bats as a lefthanded hitter and .171 with one homer and five RBIs in 82 at-bats as a righthanded hitter in 2010. He had on-base percentages of .393 as a lefty and .261 as a righty.


Berkman added that he would be open to returning to Houston, where he spent his entire career before waiving his no-trade clause to join the Yankees this summer. But he does not know if the Astros would have interest in him.