Cardinals sign INF Nick Punto to 1-year contract

Nick Punto has agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract with the

St. Louis Cardinals, giving them insurance for rehabbing third

baseman David Freese.

The 33-year-old Punto, a switch-hitter, was the Minnesota Twins’

opening day third baseman last year and also played shortstop and

second base. He batted .238 in 88 games and had no errors at third,

but battled hamstring injuries that twice landed him on the 15-day

disabled list.

Freese had ankle surgery last summer and has been running but

without turning.

The signing on Friday put the Cardinals’ major league roster at

40 players.