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Rosenthal: Rangers sign Lance Berkman to 1 year, $11 million deal with vesting option

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Rosenthal: Rangers sign Lance Berkman to 1 year, $11 million deal with vesting option

Lance Berkman, Texas Ranger
Lance Berkman, Texas Ranger
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Ken Rosenthal writes that the Rangers are finalizing an agreement with free agent Lance Berkman.

Berkman, who turns 37 in February, played just 32 games last season with the St. Louis Cardinals, putting up a .259/.381/.444 line in 97 plate appearances. In 2011, he had arguably the best year of his career, putting up a .301/.412/.547 line.

Rosenthal says the deal is expected to be one year with possibly a vesting option. My guess is that Berkman will get around $10 million for 2013, but that's just a guess.

If Berkman is healthy, this would go a long way towards shoring up the middle of the Rangers' lineup. If Berkman could simply duplicate the .259/.381/.444 line he put up last year, but over 140 games or so, I suspect the Rangers would be happy with that.

By signing Berkman, the Rangers fill the hole they currently have at DH, which means that they can have some flexibility in terms of deciding whether to play Mitch Moreland at first base, or move Ian Kinsler to first base and plug Jurickson Profar in at second base, with Moreland going to AAA or the bench.

UPDATE -- Rosenthal tweets that Berkman's deal for 2013 is expected to be $10-11 million.