Texas Rangers: Lance Berkman Could Be the Steal of the Offseason

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIJanuary 6, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs in the 3rd inning at Wrigley Field on July 27, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers have been willing to spend this offseason, but the front office probably didn't expect to dish out $10 million to Lance Berkman.

Here's the funny caveat to that: It may just be worth it.

The 37-year-old slugger signed a one-year deal worth $10 million on Saturday to join a Rangers team that missed out on Zack Greinke, Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton.

Berkman might just be the best signing of the offseason for the Rangers. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the plan to begin with. But if the dominoes fall in the right place, Berkman could very well be the biggest steal of the offseason.

Yes, even if he's had two knee surgeries within the last season. 

As a designated hitter, Berkman won't be showing his prowess in the infield as much as he used to. He'll get a chance to drive in runs and hit home runs, and eat sunflower seeds when he comes back to the dug out.

That's one hell of a bargain right there.

Not forgetting to mention that he'll be hitting in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in all of baseball, which at his age, could be what he needs to regain his All-Star form from years past.

There's a chance that he may not come back to the form he displayed in 2011 when he helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series championship, when he batted .301, hit 31 home runs and picked up 94 RBI. But if he's anything remotely close to that, then Ron Washington will take it.

Berkman was once considered one of the more dangerous hitters in the game, and he seemed to lose his confidence in his final year and a half in Houston and the little time he spent with the Yankees.

If he can stay healthy and do what's asked of him, not only will his confidence grow, but so will the love that Rangers fans will have for him.

Remember this statement back in 2011 (via ESPN)?

I felt like if they didn't re-sign Cliff Lee that they were going to be an average team and I feel that's probably what's going to end up happening, It's all about your pitching. I feel like last year was one of those special years where you kind of catch lightning in a bottle and they got hot and they had some guys that I felt like were pitching better than their talent level and consequently they had a great year.They were itching to spend some money. I probably could have gotten the best deal out of them, especially in light of what they gave Adrian Beltre, which I think is pretty much of a reach for him.


So, of course when he gets $10 million, he'll change his tune about the franchise (via ESPN):

I'm prepared to let bygones be bygones, but I understand the fans remembering those comments. Ultimately, I had to eat some crow and I was happy to do that. I tend to share an unvarnished opinion and not everyone was going to like that answer. It was my honest opinion and I was proved to be incorrect in my assessment and it was not the first time I've been wrong. This is a different team and a different scenario and I'm happy to be a part of the Rangers organization. It's a winning team. Hopefully by playing well, I'll be able to win over some of those fans I ostracized by shooting my mouth off before.


Let's just hope he turns out to be that kind of a steal. For his sake, at least.