Is Lance Berkman a cheaper Josh Hamilton?

Harry How

After Josh Hamilton signed a 5 year-$125 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Angels, the Texas Rangers signed Lance Berkman to a 1 year-$11 million dollar deal. Berkman did spend the majority of the 2012 season the disabled list, but the Rangers are paying Berkman for his future performance. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs looked into whether Lance Berkman is actually a cheaper version of Josh Hamilton. The article can be read here.

At 37, we shouldn’t expect Berkman to be an everyday player, but as a DH with big platoon splits, he doesn’t need to be. He plays the easiest position on the field to run a platoon at, and with the Rangers depth, they can afford to have Berkman spend a few weeks on the sidelines if the aches and pains start to add up.

Berkman will be the primary DH for the Rangers this season, and even though he's getting up there in age he has shown that he can still be productive. Berkman only played in 32 games last season, but offensively he showed that he can still contribute. He posted a 125 wRC+, and over the past few seasons he hasn't had a wRC+ lower than 114.

Even though Hamilton played 150 gamers in 2012, he is as much of an injury risk as Berkman is. From 2009-2011 Hamilton only averaged 114 games a season, so it's likely that both will miss some amount of time during the 2013 season.

Question for the community:

1) What are your overall impressions of the Berkman deal?

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