Lance Berkman has deal with Texas

1/5/2013 - MLB Lance Berkman Texas Rangers + more

The Texas Rangers have agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with Lance Berkman, sources confirmed to ESPN.

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.

The question with Berkman is health. He had two surgeries on his right knee last season, limiting him to 32 games with the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .259 in 81 at-bats with two homers and seven RBIs.

But in 2011, Berkman batted .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs with an OPS of .959 in helping the Cardinals win the World Series in seven games over the Rangers. Berkman's two-run single in the 10th inning of Game 6 tied the game before David Freese's homer an inning later won it.

Berkman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week that he wasn't sure he was ready to return, but would consider it if a strong financial commitment was there from a prospective team.

"In a way they have to buy me out of retirement, and I know that sounds crass -- I wish it didn't -- but it's a big commitment, it can put a strain on the family," Berkman told the paper. "If I'm going to play, I'm going to give my heart and soul to the team. But if the carrot's not big enough, the mule isn't going to want to go."

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan told Fox26 Sports in Houston on Friday that the club had made an offer to Berkman and was waiting on the veteran to make a decision.

"We are looking for a designated hitter and we feel like that he certainly would fill that bill," Ryan told Fox26 Sports.

Information from ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney was used in this report.