The Texas Rangers are closing in on a one-year deal with free-agent Lance Berkman, a source confirmed on Saturday.
FoxSports.com reports that it’s “possible” the deal could include a vesting option for a second year.
Berkman, who turns 37 next month, would give 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. St. Louis beat the Rangers in seven games in that series and won a dramatic Game 6 in part because of Berkman’s two-run single in the 10th inning to tie the game. The Cardinals then won it an inning later.