Lance Berkman To Retire

Lance Berkman has confirmed that his playing career is over and that he will retire, reports's Richard Justice (Twitter links). The 37-year-old had been expected to hang up his spikes.

Berkman has seen action in fifteen MLB seasons, posting an outstanding .943 OPS over his 7,814 big league plate appearances. He stands at 47th all-time with a 144 wRC+, nestled amongst a group of Hall-of-Fame caliber players. The switch-hitter swung well from the right side, but was devastating from the left. Over his career, Berkman put up a .304/.420/.575 triple-slash against righties, including 316 of his 366 total home runs.

Berkman ended his career with a disappointing 2013 run with the Rangers. He got on base at a .340 clip, but struggled to a career-low .359 slugging percentage over his 294 plate appearances. Hampered by injuries, including hip and knee issues, Berkman can retire comfortable in the knowledge that he was still an excellent player in his last full season of work. In 2011 with the Cardinals, Berkman was good for a .301/.412/.547 triple-slash with 31 home runs while still playing the outfield on a daily basis. 

Berkman did most of his damage, of course, for an Astros team that was among the best in baseball during much of his peak. In the aggregate, Baseball-Reference pegs Berkman's career value at 52.8 WAR, while Fangraphs puts it at 55.8 WAR. The Big Puma earned a total of just over $124MM during his time in the bigs.

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