Cardinals bring back Berkman on one-year deal

The St. Louis Cardinals retained the services year contract Thursday.

"Lance proved to be everything we were looking for when we signed him last December," stated Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. "He's an impact player who helped solidify our everyday lineup while also bringing a wealth of experience to our team. We are excited to announce that he is going to remain a part of our team in 2012."

The 35-year-old switch-hitter entered Thursday's action batting .300 with 31 home runs, 21 doubles and 91 RBI in 138 games for St. Louis this season, his first with the club.

Berkman finished the 2010 season with the New York Yankees, who acquired him at the trade deadline from Houston. He struggled at the plate throughout the year, hitting a woeful .248 with 14 homers and 58 RBI in 122 combined games.

But the Cards took a chance on him in the offseason, signing the free agent to a one-year deal in early December.

The Astros selected the Waco, Texas native with the 16th overall pick in the 1997 draft and saw him surpass the 100-plus RBI barrier six times, including a 136-RBI season in 2006.

He's a career .296 hitter who owns 358 home runs and 1,190 RBI over 1,767 games since debuting with the Astros in 1999.