a 2013 Texas Rangers Baseball: Rangers sign Berkman
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Rangers Agree to One-Year Deal with Lance Berkman

37-year old slugger gives the Rangers a switch-hitting DH to bolster their offense

 

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Lance Berkman is going to Arlington, Texas; the switch-hitting first baseman signed a one-year, $10 million contract on Saturday with a vesting option for 2014 if Berkman makes 550 plate appearances this season. The option also carries a $1 million buyout should the Rangers decline exercise it following the 2012 campaign. Last season, Berkman was a liability, limited to just 32 games for the St. Louis Cardinals following two surgeries on his right knee, but in 2011 he was one of the keys to the Cardinals’ World Series victory over the Rangers in seven games. Berkman finished the 2011 season with a .301 average and hit 31 home runs and drove in 94 runs. In game six, Berkman hit a two-run blast that tied the game in the 10 th inning setting the table for Dave Freese to win the game with a homer in the 11 th. In 14 big-league seasons with Houston, the Yankees and the Cardinals, Berkman has a career .296 batting average and has averaged 26 homers and 86 RBIs.

Berkman is expected to be the Rangers’ designated hitter this season, and given his health concerns it’s not likely that he’ll see a lot of playing time at first unless he is needed for interleague play. The Rangers’ offense is very right-handed heavy right now, so the addition of a switch-hitting DH will give them a great option at the plate. Berkman was expected to retire following the 2012 season; however he did say he would be open to returning provided that the financial terms were worth him coming back to the game. The Rangers have been looking for a bat to replace Josh Hamilton in their line-up, and they may well have gotten one in Berkman provided that the can stay healthy enough to be in the line-up every day.

 

By: Robert Gonzalez
MLBcenter.com Staff Writer


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