Nolan Ryan wants Lance Berkman as Rangers DH

Andy Lyons

The 36-year-old designated hitter/first baseman could fill a need for the Rangers in 2013.

Texas Rangers general manager Nolan Ryan is interested in signing free agent slugger Lance Berkman to be the team's designated hitter, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

The Rangers have a clear need at designated hitter after trading Michael Young to the Phillies and losing Josh Hamilton to the Los Angeles Angels via free agency, and Ryan believes that the 36-year-old Berkman might fit the bill.

Via MLB.com:

"The key with him is if he's going to stay injury-free or not," Ryan said. "But the fact that we're wanting him to play [DH] lessens the chances of him getting injured."

Berkman was limited to 32 games in 2012 because of a knee injury, but had a solid year in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .301 with 31 home runs, 94 RBIs, a .412 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage.

Berkman spent last fall as an assistant coach for the baseball team at Rice University, and is reportedly interested in playing in his home state of Texas in 2013, be it with the Rangers or the Houston Astros.

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