I admit I hate to see Lance Berkman leave the Cardinals. But I'm glad for him that he was able to find a contract with another team that will allow him to continue his major league career close to home.
But I am still shocked that the Rangers were willing to spend $11 million on a player who missed almost the entire 2012 baseball season because of one knee injury after another. He managed only 81 at bats and hit .259 with two home runs last year. And he showed disturbing signs of slowing down in 2011. Berkman started off like a house afire, batting .393 in April with eight home runs. But in June he hit .221 and in July he hit .250.
While he's had his ups and downs as he's become older, I'm sure the Rangers would love the balance of Berkman's 2011 when he hit .301 with 31 homers. But that magical year was the first time since 2008 he managed to hit .300 and the first time since 2007 that he cracked the 30 homer mark.
Berkman has certainly earned a chance to play on. But a guaranteed $11 million just seems ridiculous. I'd like nothing better than to see the Big Puma have another great year. But the odds -- and the baseball gods -- are against him.