The first thing that I thought when the St. Louis Cardinals announced they agreed to pick up the option for Jake Westbrook for next year and have a mutual option for 2014 was what about the rest of the Cardinals starting pitchers? I mean they have Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Westbrook, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, and that other ace Chris Carpenter under contract or control for next season. They also have future studs Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal sitting down in Memphis about ready to explode onto the scene. And don’t forget about Carlos Martinez dominating AA Springfield.
I am ok with the terms of Westbrook’s deal. It is $8.75 million for 2013 with the $9.5 million mutual option for 2014. This includes a $1 million buyout. I am happy for Jake and his family to get a sense of security for another year and possibilities for another. He earned this deal. He came to spring training slimmed down and worked real hard at perfecting even further his wonderful sinker.
Yeah I know, Chris Carpenter may never pitch again. Kyle Lohse has pitched himself out of the Cardinals price range for next year, so he will not be coming back. So what are the options then?
Adam Wainwright back as the ace. Jaime Garcia back as the lefty who keeps getting better. Jake Westbrook as the veteran with the knowledge and consistency to get batters out while hopefully eating innings. Those are pretty much a given.
Lance Lynn is the young hard thrower with a year of starting and some postseason experience under his belt. Joe Kelly has impressed in his limited run as a starter and has become a crowd favorite. I think Shelby Miller has forced himself into the rotation for next year. He struggled early in AAA but has figured it out. I hope they don’t take the conservative approach and make him start in Memphis as the 6th starter and insurance in case someone in the majors gets hurt. I would understand that, but as a fan I would not like it. Trevor Rosenthal could be destined to the bullpen where he has been for his cups of coffee in the majors.
I just think someone may be traded in the offseason. Lance Lynn probably has the highest value right now. So that is my guess. I am not one who wants to break a team up, but who knows what his value is to other teams out there?
One signing means a bunch of things for many players in the Cardinals organization. Now to sit back, wait and see what happens in real life and with front office madness.