With knee and hip injuries continuing to give him problems, Rangers DH Lance Berkman recently told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he has considered retiring and walking away from the game at midseason. Now, he may be moving closer to doing just that. Here's this from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com:
Sources: #Rangers' Berkman considering retiring and forfeiting remainder of his salary, about $4.4M. Meeting with team officials today.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2013
Berkman, 37, has been on the DL since earlier this month with left hip inflammation. He missed time with right knee soreness earlier this season. Berkman has had a ton of knee problems over the years, including multiple surgeries on both knees. He was limited to 32 games last year.
In 68 games before the injury, Berkman hit .254/.355/.377 (97 OPS+) with six home runs. His last full, productive year came with the Cardinals in 2011, when he hit .301/.412/.547 (164 OPS+) with 31 homers and helped the club to the World Series title.
Texas signed Berkman to a one-year contract worth $10 million before the season. The deal includes a $13 million option that vests with 550 plate appearances. Berkman is at 282 plate appearances right now and is very unlikely to trigger to option.
Whenever he retires, Berkman will be an interesting Hall of Fame candidate. He's a career .294/.407/.538 (144 OPS+) hitter with 366 career home runs, and during his peak with the Astros from 2001-06, he hit .306/.422/.572 (153 OPS+) with an average of 33 homers per year. Berkman certainly isn't a slam dunk Hall of Famer, but he has a decent case and should stick on the ballot for more than a year.