Position changes up M-Cab, Hanley values 

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
12:43
PM ET
A year ago, St. Louis Cardinals free-agent addition Lance Berkman was one of the bigger names preparing for an offseason position change, and most observers, from both a real and fantasy baseball sense, had reason to be skeptical. An aging and seemingly brittle Berkman was declining offensively and hadn't played the outfield regularly in four years. As a result, the signing was largely panned.

Well, Berkman transitioned well from first base to right field; nobody seemed to care about defense as he posted a .959 OPS (sixth in baseball) and, perhaps more surprisingly, played in 145 games.

Truth be told, Berkman was not a particularly good right fielder. Cardinals pitchers are better off with Berkman at first base in 2012. But those who took the chance on him late in mixed-league fantasy drafts -- my hands are raised high -- were certainly pleased by the overall result, as were Cardinals fans. My main argument on Berkman was that he was only two years removed from offensive production, and an impromptu position change wasn't enough of a deterrent to him returning to that level (or surpassing it). Berkman had played outfield previously. Have a little faith! Berkman wasn't the only fellow to change positions leading into the 2011 season, but certainly things worked out marvelously.