Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/5/13

The Texas Rangers finally added some offense to their team this winter, inking long-time Astros first baseman Lance Berkman to a one-year deal worth $10 million. The deal also contains a vesting option for 2014 based on plate appearances with a $1 million buyout. After struggling in 2010 after being dealt from the Astros to the Yankees, Berkman signed with the Cardinals for 2011 for $8 million, and served as the team's every day right fielder. Finally healthy, Berkman posted a .959 OPS in 145 games with St Louis, homering 31 times (his highest total since 2007) and walking 92 times (compared to just 93 strikeouts). However, after signing a $12 million extension with the Cardinals for 2012, Berkman played in just 32 games due to calf and knee injuries. If Berkman is healthy, this deal could be a major win for the Rangers. After losing Josh Hamilton to the Angels and Mike Napoli to the Red Sox this winter (assuming the deal isn't voided), Texas had a major hole in the middle of their lineup that a masher like Berkman could easily fill. Berkman could fill Napoli's role at first base and DH, with Mitch Moreland resting against lefties. Berkman should also stay healthier staying out of the outfield, where he was terrible defensively for St Louis in 2011.  From a purely offensive standpoint, Berkman is an elite hitter when he's on his game. But he'll be 37 in February, and despite that 2011 season that saw him amass offensive numbers that were among the best among all hitters in hte league, there are still questions as to whether or not that was a last gasp for him or a sign of things to come if he's able to play 140 games in a season. Despite the move to the pitching-rich AL West from the weaker NL Central, Berkman's offense should receive a boost from playing half of his games in the Ballpark at Arlington. There really is no middle ground to this contract. Either Berkman is healthy and provides Texas with enough offense to justify his contract, or he deals with injuries and the contract is a bust. If I had to make a guess as to what would happen with Berkman...well, I really don't know. Leg injuries for an aging power hitter are always a red flag, and if he can't generate enough bat speed, it could be a long year for him and the Rangers. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker