Lance Berkman might not be the missing piece for the Texas Rangers to be successful this season. But he may have been the piece that brought into focus the lineup the Rangers will be rolling out to start the 2013 season. Berkman signed a one-year deal for $10 million Monday that includes a vesting option for 2014 that will pay Berkman $12 million of he reaches 550 plate appearances this season. That's a big change for Berkman in an offseason that began with him expecting to retire. That sentiment changed once the Rangers made contact with him over the holidays. Berkman, who will turn 37 next month, is expected to be the team's everyday designated hitter and could also see occasional time at first base and in the outfield. If Berkman, who missed most of the 2012 season because of a balky right knee that led to two surgeries, plays first base it looks like it will be when Mitch Moreland needs a break. Texas general manager Jon Daniels said he expects Ian Kinsler to be the club's second baseman this year after the club flirted with the idea of moving him to first base to create playing time for Jurickson Profar. As things stand now, Profar and Mike Olt figure to open the season in the minors unless they win an everyday spot in spring training. A big season by Berkman, who was an All-Star with St. Louis in 2011, may take any pressure off the Rangers rushing either of the two prospects. Berkman thinks he has that in him. "I feel like I'm going to be healthy and I'm going to be productive," Berkman said. "I like the balance of the lineup. The way that the team is configured it's less dependent on one or two guys. I feel like the onus of production is going to be spread out."
Berkman excited as Texas starts taking shape
Fox Sports Southwest | Jan 8