Cardinals Notes: Westbrook, Carpenter, La Russa

In a recent chat, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that few appreciate how much turnover could occur if Tony La Russa does not return to the Cardinals next season.  Let's see what else he has for us..

  • Offering Jake Westbrook arbitration would be a risky move for the Cards as he is virtually guaranteed to receive an increase over this year's $11MM salary.  If St. Louis does want to keep the soon-to-be 33-year-old in the fold, Strauss believes that they will open talks before the free agency filing period like they did with Joel Pineiro and and Kyle Lohse.  However, the club locked up Pineiro and Lohse with multi-year deals at market or above-market rates, something that they're probably not capable of doing at this time with Westbrook.
  • Speaking of starters, it's hard to imagine the Cardinals giving Chris Carpenter similar money to what he makes now if they re-sign Albert Pujols.  Carpenter's contract calls for him to earn $15MM next season with a $15MM club option ($1MM buyout) for 2012.
  • It's fair to say that Felipe Lopez found himself unmotivated to perform after the Cards acquired Pedro Feliz last month.  The infielder struggled at the plate this season, hitting just .231/.310/.340 with seven homers in 425 plate appearances.  The club sent Lopez packing yesterday afternoon.
  • Strauss expects to see La Russa back in St. Louis unless he hears something that he doesn't like from the ownership or front office.

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