Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals have mutual interest in working out a deal to keep the starter in St. Louis, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. GM John Mozeliak says the club “obviously has interest” in re-signing Westbrook and has reached out to the pitcher’s representatives. Discussions haven’t picked up yet, but Westbrook says he wouldn’t mind signing a deal before other teams have the chance to bid on him.
"I'm definitely going to be open-minded about pretty much everything," Westbrook said. "If they had interest, I've definitely enjoyed my time here. I've gotten to know the guys well. The organization is definitely one that everybody knows about, that I've certainly heard a lot about, and now, firsthand, I've gotten to see that everybody was right."
The Cardinals have experience locking up starters on the cusp of free agency; they signed Kyle Lohse to an extension two years ago this week and locked up Joel Pineiro in October of 2007. Lohse will figure into the team’s 2011 rotation if healthy, but the Cardinals could still use starting pitching depth. Westbrook won’t cost as much as Lohse did ($41MM), but as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes explained yesterday, he could be in line for a two-year deal worth $15MM or so.
Westbrook has put together 195 solid innings this year, posting a 4.38 ERA between Cleveland and St. Louis. In 11 starts since joining the Cards, the right-hander has pitched especially well, posting a 3.88 ERA.