Rangers president Nolan Ryan was asked on Friday how he would feel about his ballclub if it was able to sign free-agent power hitter Lance Berkman.
"We'd feel pretty good about where we were," Ryan said.
The Rangers have signed Berkman to a $10 million contract for 2013. An official announcement is expected on Monday after he undergoes a physical, and that is not considered just the usual formality associated with a free-agent signing. Berkman played in just 32 games last season because of injuries and is coming off right knee surgery.
But if Berkman, 36, passes the physical, he will join the Rangers as their primary designated hitter and replace Michael Young in the lineup. Berkman represents the big bat the Rangers were seeking after losing out on Josh Hamilton, who will play for the Angels next season. He will also likely be the Rangers' cleanup hitter, given manager Ron Washington's desire to have a veteran fill that role.
The Rangers are waiting for Berkman to pass his physical before they address that question. But where Berkman hits in the lineup is only a minor curiosity compared to other pressing matters that remain unsolved. The bigger question is what's next for the Rangers in this peculiarly convulsive offseason -- and what does this mean for others, specifically the right side of the infield?