The Cardinals can scratch item No. 1 off of their offseason shopping list.
St. Louis locked up right-hander Jake Westbrook on Tuesday, signing the veteran starter to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2013. The club did not announce the financial terms.
“Having Jake signed is a great start to our off-season,” general manager John Mozeliak said in a release issued by the club. “We witnessed first-hand last season what a terrific competitor he is and how well he fits in with our pitching staff.”
Westbrook, who turned 33 shortly before the season ended, pitched very well for St. Louis after he was acquired in a trade from Cleveland at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. He went 4-4 in 12 starts with a 3.48 ERA, striking out 55 against 24 walks.
Getting Westbrook under contract means that the Cardinals’ starting rotation for 2011 is set for the time being. Westbrook joins Cy Young runner-up Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse in what should be one of the National League’s better starting fives.
It’s still possible that the Cardinals will look to acquire a veteran swingman to provide extra insurance and rotation depth.
– Matthew Leach