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Rumor Mill: Lance Berkman

Don't kick dirt on Lance Berkman's major league career yet.

Word out of Texas is that the right fielder of the 2011 World Series champion Cardinals is talking with the Rangers about spending some time in their lineup at first base or as designated hitter.

The Rangers have taken a beating in the free agent market thus far, losing Josh Hamilton to Anaheim and Mike Napoli to the Red Sox (if that deal ever gets finalized.)

Berkman would potentially provide a power bat without the commitment to a long term contract. And such a deal would be appealing to him because he'd be able to remain close to his Houston area home.

As uncomfortable as it must have been for Berkman to leave the Astros to play for their chief rivals in St. Louis, it seems like it would be worse for him to play for Texas.

Not only are the Rangers and Astros going to be in the same division. But Berkman stated publicly that he chose to play for the Cardinals over Texas two seasons ago because he didn't think the Rangers were good enough to compete. Then he had to face them in the World Series.

His presence may be salt in the wounds of Texas rooters disappointed by the defection of Hamilton and Napoli. 

I still think chances are good that Berkman will retire. While he can probably still hit, he's stated that he isn't going to play for cheap. And that tells me that he places a high value on the idea of staying home with his family.