Who among you will dare continue the tradition? - Bob Levey
Lance Berkman had his physical yesterday and it was probably gross for everyone involved.
Lance Berkman passed his physical and is officially a Texas Ranger. I know this because I've seen photos of him sitting next to Jon Daniels at a press conference and no one just gets to sit next to Jon Daniels without a reason.
Jeff Wilson writes about that conference where Daniels introduced Berkman: Texas Ranger DH to the world. Therefore, he was also reintroducing Mitch Moreland: First baseman and Ian Kinsler: Second baseman to the world while introducing Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar to Round Rock.
Even though there was talk about how the Rangers missing out on some key free agents meant they might just see what they had in their young players, T.R. Sullivan writes that adding Berkman allows the Rangers the opportunity to be patient with Olt and Profar.
Of course, the Rangers will still probably be leaning heavily on the production of young players like Leonys Martin, Martin Perez, Justin Grimm, Robbie Ross and Wilmer Font at various points throughout the season. I'd also imagine we'll see Olt and Profar sooner rather than later. Or, perhaps some of these people will be Arizona Diamondbacks before March 31.
Richard Durrett writes more on what Berkman's signing has done to bring clarity to the lineup. Durrett has some quotes from Daniels where he explains the team's thoughts on keeping Kinsler and Moreland at their positions rather than forcing Profar to second base to start the season.
Anthony Andro has his take on the Berkman signing while also noting the contract for Berkman is a one-year deal for $10 million in 2013 with a $12 million club option for 2014. The Rangers can buy the option out for $1 million or, should Berkman reach 550 plate appearances, the option automatically vests at $13 million.
That's a convoluted way of saying the Rangers will owe Berkman $11 million for one season or $23 million for two seasons. It's a lot of money for a guy with exploding knees. It's also somehow more than the Cardinals spent on Berkman's services. I don't really know how that happened given Berkman is two years older and is coming off a year when he played about as many games as he had knee operations but that's apparently the going rate for a retirement buyout.
Though, as has been noted all along, the money aspect won't be atrocious if Berkman remains healthy and continues to hit as he always has when he's been healthy.
Evan Grant blogs a breakdown of where the lineup stands now with the Berkman signing while noting that Profar will still be given an opportunity to win a job in Spring Training.
Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Info has a couple of items on Berkman and how he could impact the Rangers.
Durrett continues his position outlook series with a fortuitous glance at first base in 2013. Mitch Moreland was given a vote of confidence by Jon Daniels in the Lance Berkman press conference and now Moreland likely heads into the season as the starting first baseman. We could end up seeing Berkman, Mike Olt, Brandon Snyder, or even Ian Kinsler get some playing time at first in 2013, however.
The Star-Telegram has a rundown of the Rangers' Fan Fest schedule and which folks are scheduled to appear on the Rangers' Winter Caravan. For example, if you live in Bossier City, LA, as I once did, you could see Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, or Tom Grieve. Or, if you live near Cedar Park, TX, as I do now, you could hang out with Steve Busby and Derek Holland.
Lastly, you will never be so famous that your country will open a museum about you when you're only 26 years old like Japan is doing for Yu Darvish.