Lance Berkman sitting on Texas Rangers' offer

Posted Friday, Jan. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Team president Nolan Ryan confirmed that the Texas Rangers have made an offer to free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Lance Berkman, but a major league source said that Berkman won't decide about his future until next week.

Berkman would serve as the Rangers' designated hitter and occasionally play first base, assuming he is healthy after having surgery on his right knee last spring.

The Rangers also believe his veteran presence would help fortify a clubhouse that lost leader Michael Young, who was dealt to Philadelphia last month.

Berkman played in only 32 games for St. Louis in 2012 because of knee trouble. But he hit .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs in 2011, and delivered a two-out, two-run single in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the World Series to erase the Rangers' second two-run lead in as many innings.

The Star-Telegram reported in its Friday editions that Ryan had reached out to Berkman and was told he had multiple offers.

Houston, Baltimore and Tampa Bay also have shown interest in Berkman.

Minors awards

Third baseman Mike Olt, who made his big-league debut in August, was named Friday as the Tom Grieve Player of the Year as the Rangers handed out their minor-league awards for 2012.

Olt hit .288 with 28 homers and 82 RBIs in only 95 games at Double A Frisco. He had less success after his promotion, hitting only .152 (5 for 33) with no homers, but his ability to play first base and right field gives him a chance to make the 2013 Opening Day roster.

Cody Buckel (Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year), Engel Beltre (Defender of the Year) and Ben Rowen (Reliever of the Year) will also collect hardware Friday at the Arlington Convention Center.

Arlington native Hunter Pence (Texas Professional Player of the Year) and John Burkett (Mark Holtz Alumni Award) will also receive awards.

Catchers find homes

Luis Martinez, who spent most of the final two months with the Rangers, was claimed off waivers by Baltimore. He had been designated for assignment last week to make room on the 40-man roster for A.J. Pierzynski.

Eli Whiteside, though, cleared waivers and will remain in the organization after being assigned outright to Triple A Round Rock. Whiteside was designated for assignment Thursday to create a roster spot for right-hander Jason Frasor.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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