Jim Hendry was desperate for a first baseman in the winter of 2010, which is why he seemingly overpaid to sign Carlos Pena to a 1-year, $10 million deal.
Although Pena’s individual results in 2011 were not disastrous, it did little to keep Mike Quade from running the team into the wood chipper.
Flash forward to Friday where the Rangers made a similar desperate move by inking Lance Berkman to a 1-year, $10 million deal.
The Rangers have suffered Texas-sized heartbreak this winter. They’ve lost Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young while struggling to keep up with those pesky Angels.
So it’s reasonable to wonder if that’s why the Rangers are suddenly in favor of offering up 10-large to an injury-riddled DH who needed to be coaxed out of retiring?
For certain it puts a new shine on Pena’s old deal with Chicago. His offensive numbers in 2011 were clearly not worthy of $10M alone, but Pena did provide the Cubs with Gold Glove defense and much needed clubhouse leadership during a trying season.
It’s hard to imagine Berkman, four years older than Pena, can be of the same value for the same price as Pena was to the Cubs.
Granted the Rangers are in much better shape than those 2011 Cubs were, but it’s safe to say Berkman’s far from a Gold Glover and fair to assume he’s not going to be the same hitter he was just two years ago during his All Star season in St. Louis, which many seem to forget…was two years ago!
If the Rangers fall short of expectations next season, which presumably is a division title, no one will point to the Berkman signing as the team’s shortcoming. Instead, it will be the many moves that led to Berkman’s signing, just as it was with Hendry when he signed an over-priced first baseman to the Cubs.
2011: 33 years old, 1-year, $10 million
153-games, .225/.357/.462 – OPS+123
28 HR, 80 RBI…101 walks set franchise record for 1B
Gold Glove defense, clubhouse leader
Magical season of 2011 including postseason:
177-games .295/.408/.533, 33 HR, 105 RBI
*Then 2012 season…
32-games, 81 at-bats, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Plagued by left calf and a a torn meniscus in right knee
Is he worth $10 million?