Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Lance Berkman announced his retirement on Wednesday, closing the books on a 15-year career.
"It doesn't make sense to play in the physical condition I'm in," Berkman said to MLB.com. "I'm not going to keep trying to run out there for the heck of it."
Berkman spent last season with Texas, hitting just .242 with six home runs, 10 doubles and 34 RBI in 73 games. The Rangers declined a 2014 club option on his contract at the end of October, making the veteran a free agent.
Selected by Houston in the first round (16th overall) of the 1997 amateur draft, Berkman made his major-league debut in 1999 with the Astros, participating in 34 games and batting .237. He went on to lead the majors in doubles with 55 in 2001, then topped the NL with 128 RBI in 2002 and claimed the league doubles title in 2008 with 46 two-baggers.
"Lance was one of the greatest players in Astros history, and we are absolutely open to honoring him this season now that he has announced his retirement," the Astros said in a statement. "We will communicate with Lance in the upcoming days to get his thoughts on this, and hope to schedule something that will give the fans the chance to recognize his outstanding career."
The six-time All-Star and Texas native departs having hit 366 career home runs and driven in 1,234 runs over 1,879 games with the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals and Rangers.