Lance Berkman has determined what he is doing during the 2013 season. It won’t be as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
I cannot honestly say that I am surprised by this latest turn of developments after hearing what the former Cardinal outfielder/first baseman said in an interview with the MLB Network a few weeks ago. Speaking to the MLB Network a few weeks ago, it sounded as if he ruled out a return to the Houston Astros, citing the amount of people that were no longer working or playing for the organization.
Richard Durett of ESPN Dallas reported this evening that Berkman signed a one year contract worth $10 million.
Sources said the deal also includes a vesting option for a second year if Berkman reaches 550 plate appearances in 2013. Also, a source says there’s a $1 million buyout on the option year.
Berkman, who turns 37 in February, gives the Rangers a designated hitter with power and a veteran presence in the clubhouse. He’s also a switch-hitter, something that would give the right handed-heavy lineup some versatility.
I think playing in the American League will be a better option for Berkman, who was plagued by knee injuries during the 2012 season.
Fans of the Cardinals, just as with Torty Craig, will no doubt appreciate Berkman for the two years that he played for the club, more so the 2011 championship season than the recent 2012 season. In fact, I expect that there will be a good ovation should the veteran slugger be playing during the Cardinals-Rangers series at Busch Stadium over June 21-23, 2013. The Saturday game will be televised as one of the Fox Games of the Week.
Despite Berkman signing with the Rangers, it’s a good bet that most baseball fans will remember him for all the years he played with the Houston Astros.