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.'"
Lee considering retirement after 2012
HOUSTON -- Left fielder Carlos Lee, who's in the fourth year of a six-year, $100-million deal, said Thursday he will strongly consider retiring when his contract expires. Lee has a limited no-trade clause after this season, but considering he's owed $18.5 million in each of the final three years, trading him would be difficult.
"That was one of the reasons I signed here, was to come here and kind of establish myself with a long-team deal and finish up here," he said. "I don't know if I'm going to play after this contract is up. I'm ready to go home."
Lee, who lives in his native Panama in the offseason, has two sons and two daughters that he wants to spend more time with.
"We spend so much time away from our family," he said. "I can't spend any other time with my kids. I get home at 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock and they're sleeping, and they get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to school and I see them 10, 15 minutes. I want to be able to spend time with my kids where they're still young and healthy. I want to enjoy them."
Lee still has more than 2 1/2 years remaining on his current deal, but he admits retirement is on his mind.
"I don't know, maybe in my last year I'll still have a love for the game and still feel I can play," he said. "As of right now, me and my family have plans to finish up in Houston."
Slugger Lee still eyeing 100 RBIs
HOUSTON -- Despite driving in only eight runs in the first 27 games of the season, left fielder Carlos Lee still has his sights set on his sixth consecutive 100-RBI season. In fact, general manger Ed Wade said earlier this week that he believes Lee will reach 100 RBIs.
After all, Lee drove in 100 runs in 2008 despite playing in only 115 games after breaking his pinkie in August and missing the rest of the season.
"A good friend of mine the other day said, 'Don't worry about it. You're going to drive in 100,'" Lee said. "I said, 'I don't know if I keep going the way I'm going,' or something like that. He said, 'In 2008, you only needed  games and you drove in , and what's the difference?' He's got a point. A lot of things can happen."
Lee hit his first homer of the season in the ninth inning Wednesday, snapping a 40-game, 162-at-bat homerless streak, which was the second longest of his career. Lee hopes getting the first one out of the way will spark him.
"I got the monkey off my back," he said. "Even if I don't go out there and hit homers, at least I have to drive in runs to help the team."
Texans go to bat for charity
HOUSTON -- Players Matt Schaub, Eric Winston, Chris Myers, Dan Orlovsky, Andre Davis, Zac Diles, David Anderson, James Casey and Duane Brown of the NFL's Houston Texans took part in the Reliant Home Run Derby on the field Thursday to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Houston.
"When we're working the offseason, it's one of the events we really look forward to as a group," Schaub said.
The Texans raised $31,700 by hitting targets in the outfield and home runs. Offensive tackle Eric Winton impressed some of the Astros by hitting some of the longest homers of the event -- including at least one into the upper deck in right field -- but Pro Bowl quarterback Schaub led the way with $5,500 raised.
"The last time I touched a bat was last year when we did this," Schaub said. "I just came out there and swung. We just have fun. It's bragging rights in the locker room is all it is. This a lot of fun, but ultimately, we see how much money we can raise for the kids."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.