The St. Louis Cardinals added starting pitcher Jake Westbrook at the trade deadline in an effort to get a push towards the playoffs. It didn't quite work out, and Westbrook became a free agent at the end of the season, but the Cardinals have gone ahead and decided to bring him back, agreeing with Westbrook on a two-year contract with a 2013 mutual option.
The team has made Westbrook a priority since the end of the year, and the two sides have been in communication for weeks. Coming off a three-year, $33 million contract extension signed in April of 2007, Westbrook won't be making as much money as he's gotten used to, but he will earn $16.5 million over these next two years.
After missing the 2009 season following Tommy John Surgery on his elbow, Westbrook bounced back in a big way in 2010, throwing 202.2 innings over 33 starts while posting a 4.22 ERA. His ERA dropped to 3.48 after coming over to St. Louis from Cleveland, and though the righty isn't known for his pinpoint command or strikeout stuff, he keeps enough balls out of the air to remain effective.
Westbrook will slot in behind Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Jaime Garcia, as the Cardinals again throw out an upper-tier starting rotation. Check out more at Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos.