Houston • Six-time All-Star Lance Berkman is retiring after 15 seasons.
Berkman almost left the game last offseason before signing with the Texas Rangers. He then had another injury-plagued season and was limited to 73 games.
The 37-year-old was Houston’s first-round draft pick in 1997 out of Rice, and played 12 seasons for the Astros. He played 1,879 career games, all but 287 for Houston, finishing a .293 career hitter with 366 home runs and 1,234 RBIs. The Astros said they hope to honor Berkman during the upcoming season and "give the fans the chance to recognize his outstanding career."
He finished the 2010 season with the New York Yankees before two years in St. Louis, where he was part of the 2011 World Series champions.
"Just physically I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t feel like I can compete at a level that I’m used to competing at," Berkman told KRIV-TV of Houston. "I could probably still drag my carcass out there, but I’m not interested in doing that. ... I don’t want to hang on just to hang on."
Around the league
Cardinals • Infielder Daniel Descalso avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.29 million, one-year contract, the midpoint between the $1.65 million he had asked for and the $930,000 St. Louis had offered.
Rangers • Texas was awarded left-hander Pedro Figueroa on a waiver claim from Tampa Bay. Figueroa made 24 relief appearances over two seasons for the A’s. He allowed four runs in three innings last season.
Yankees • Scott Sizemore is among nine players agreeing to minor league contracts, giving New York another option for Alex Rodriguez’s replacement at third base.
Sizemore, who turned 29 on Jan. 4, has been limited to six games over the past two seasons because of an injured left knee that twice required surgery.
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