Lance Berkman Heads Back to the NL Central

Contrary to the recent Oakland Athletics rumors, Lance Berkman is joining a team he has a history of crushing during his career.

The former Houston Astros slugger agreed to a one year deal worth $8 million on Saturday with the St. Louis Cardinals, who have watched him bat .313 against them with 39 homers and 118 RBI over 154 career games.

The 34-year-old switch hitter made the National League All-Star team five times with the Astros. He hit .248 last year between Houston and the New York Yankees, who declined arbitration with pretty much everyone a couple weeks ago, including Berkman.

The first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter finished last season with total of 14 home runs and 58 RBI. It looks like his days of being a 40-home-run-hitter, though short-lived, are long gone. Though he's more familiar with left field, the Cardinals may put him in right, depending on where Matt Holliday would like to play.

Berkman kicked off the 2010 season on the 15-day disabled list after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, leaving the Astros wanting more from him at the plate. That led to the July 31 trade with the Yankees, who used him primarily as their designated hitter and got nothing but disapointment in return.

Can Fat Elvis still track down fly balls in either corner?

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]