5:22pm: Westbrook will earn $8.75MM in 2013, while the 2014 mutual option is for $9.5MM with a $1MM buyout, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link).
4:04pm: The Cardinals announced that they have agreed to a contract extension with Jake Westbrook that will keep the right-hander off of the free agent market for at least one more year (Twitter link). The deal covers the 2013 season and adds a mutual option for 2014.
Westbrook's previous contract, a two-year, $16.5MM agreement signed following the 2010 season, included a $8.5MM mutual option for 2013. Shapiro, Robinson, & Associates represent Westbrook, who turns 35 next month.
Westbrook has started 24 games this year, posting a 3.50 ERA in 154 1/3 innings. His ground ball rate is characteristically high (59.2%) and his strikeout (5.5 K/9) and walk (2.4 BB/9) rates are right around his career averages. His average fastball checks in at 90.7 mph this year and he's generating slightly more swings and misses than usual (7.8%). The Cardinals acquired Westbrook two years ago in the three-team trade that sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres.
Westbrook projects to join Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and, the Cardinals hope, Chris Carpenter in St. Louis' rotation next year. Kyle Lohse is on track to hit free agency this coming offseason.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Did not expect that. Carp, Waino, Lynn, Garcia, Kelly, Miller all available for the rotation next year. I would have rather seen some money thrown Lohse’s way, but that’s pretty much out of the question now.
That’s not that impressive of a group listed. Wainwright, Lynn, and Garcia were the only sure things. The rest all have many question marks. Who knows if Carpenter will ever pitch again, Kelly is fine as a 6th starter but not sure I would be comfortable penciling him In every 5 days on a team hoping to compete for a World Series. Miller still has to prove he can pitch in the bigs.
While I’m not overly excited about the deal, it’s probably necessary. Now you have four guys locked in and the 5th spot still up for grabs. Lohse has pitched his way to a contract outside of what St. Louis will be able to pay.
Guess we’re going to let Lohse walk..? damn.
Kind of odd to hurry to extend him? While Westbrook is having his best season in a while he did have the worst season of his career last year.
It only adds on one guaranteed year. More just insurance for next year in case Carp, Kelly, Miller, Rosenthal aren’t ready or healthy.
Interesting. I guess St. Louis is prepared to let Lohse test the free agent market. I’m kinda skeptical on St. Louis signing Lohse to another big deal because of past issues so I guess it’s not the end of the world that Westbrook was extended. Wonder what that means for Kelly, Miller and Rosenthal now? I for one liked how Kelly pitched out of the bullpen throwing heat so he could be a BP pitcher next yr. And Miller could probably use another year in Memphis
There’s still one more spot open. Miller has looked ready recently pitching very well. 7 IP, 2 ER, 12 Ks, 0 BB’s today, in fact. But I think it will be an open competition in ST between Miller, Rosenthal, and Kelly. If Carp is healthy it’s his, but that’s a big IF at this point.
I suppose that if you can afford to spend a cool $10M on a back of the rotation guy, why not? I’d like to hear again how St. Louis is a small-market team though.
I like this move. Westbrook has been more or less consistent…Consistency is a good thing to have in the current staff we have right now. Westbrook could easily be a 3 man on a LOT of teams rosters with the stuff that he’s had this year. I just hope he carries it over.
I love this move…reason being that ground ball pitchers are more easily able to keep it in the yard. His ERA this season also definitely warrants an extension.
Yes, because ERA is the be all end all for a 34 year old pitcher. Not even close, sure he’s reliable but at that price, I’m sure they could have done a little better in terms of quality.