Lance Berkman running at 50 percent, not ready for rehab

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Lance Berkman is working his way back from a hip injury, but the Rangers designated hitter still has no timetable for beginning a minor-league rehab assignment a month after being placed on the disabled list.

Berkman told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram that he’s currently running at around 50 percent effectiveness, adding: “Not being 100 percent ready to go on a rehab assignment is not what I’d hoped, but it’s not entirely unexpected.”

Berkman didn’t show much power before the DL stint, but did get on base at a solid .355 clip with tons of walks and the Rangers could certainly use another potential impact bat in the lineup following the suspension of Nelson Cruz. In the meantime the Rangers have used five different designated hitters in the past five games.

Report: Nationals sign reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal

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Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the deal is worth $10 million and includes a third-year option worth $6 million.

Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.