Free agent Lance Berkman has agreed to a one-year, $11 million contract with the Texas Rangers. The contract is believed to include a vesting option for the 2014 MLB season.
The 36-year-old must pass a physical for the deal to become official. Berkman injured his left calf last season and has undergone two surgeries on his right knee over the last year. While playing with the St. Louis Cardinals Berkman appeared in only 32 games.
While injury plagued his last season Berkman the season prior batted .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs with a .959 OPS, his best season since 2008.
Berkman will join free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski and possibly outfield Justin Upton who is believed to be in contract talks with the Rangers.
The Texas Rangers are looking to rebuild a team that last season lost Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and first baseman Mike Napoli who is rumored, but not confirmed, to have left for the Boston Red Sox on December 3.
If Berkman is officially signed it would be a good indicator that Napoli has in fact left the team.
In a recent discussion with the MLB Network Berkman admitted that any decision he made would likely be money motivated. When asked if earning power mattered he responded:
“Well, I think so. It’s awfully hard to make the kind of money that we’re able to make doing anything else, and I think I certainly have a realization and appreciation for that. So, if it comes down to it, there are definitely amounts of money that you just can’t turn down.”
Do you think Lance Berkman will be a key acquisition for the Texas Rangers heading into the 2013-2014 MLB season?