Over the last couple of days, rumors started circulating about Nolan Ryan expressing interest in Arlington to bring Berkman in. And that's what would happen, as Berkman agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated $11 million.
It also includes a vesting option for 2014, but he will need to complete a physical before the deal will be completely official.
Berkman confirmed the news by telling Mark Berman of Houston's FOX 26 that he had signed the contract. Houston had heavily pursued Berkman during this off-season, but he said that Ryan and the Rangers gave him an offer he simply couldn't turn down .
For the Rangers, Berkman will try to add a bat to a team that has recently lost Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, and Michael Young. He turns 37 next month, played just 32 games for the St. Louis Cardinals last year. His season was cut short thanks to a left calf injury and a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Now that he has been lured away from the Astros and a possible retirement, Houston will no look to Brett Wallace to take duties at first base, and recent addition Carlos Pena to assume his role as a designated hitter.
After the news broke, Berkman offered a brief statement about his decision as well as the Astros:
I have nothing but good things to say about the Astros organization and the way our negotiations went. It was just that the negotiations never got past the tire-kicking phase.