Cards decline mutual option on Westbrook

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

As expected, the Cardinals have declined their 2014 mutual option on Jake Westbrook. That option would have paid Westbrook $9.5 million next season. Instead, the Cardinals will cover the $1 million buyout and allow Westbrook to enter free agency.

This mutual option was attached to the one-year contract Westbrook signed in Aug. 2012.

Westbrook has known for some time that he did not fit into the Cardinals’ future plans. After a strong start to the 2013 season, the righty landed on the disabled list in mid-May with right elbow inflammation. He returned to the rotation a month later but never had the same effectiveness. Westbrook trudged through some tough summer months, endured a second DL stint due to a back strain and finished the season mostly unused in the Cardinals’ bullpen.

Westbrook, 35, did not appear on any of the team’s three postseason rosters. With the collection of young starting pitchers the Cardinals have, they did not have a need to bring Westbrook back for another season.

Acquired by the Cardinals in a 2010 three-team Trade Deadline deal with the Indians and Padres, Westbrook went 36-32 with a 4.27 ERA in 94 games (92 starts) with St. Louis. He posted a 4.63 ERA this year. Westbrook was a part of the Cardinals’ 2011 World Championship club, and the veteran right-hander made substantial contributions in helping a number of young pitchers find their footing upon reaching the Majors.

Westbrook becomes the fifth Cardinals free agent, joining Chris Carpenter, Carlos Beltran, Rafael Furcal and Edward Mujica.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

2 Comments

So long, it’s been good to know ya, Jake! Thanks & bon chance in FA!
What’s the rotation to look like for 2014?
Waino needs rest: Wacha, Wacha, Wacha needs seasoning/conditioning; Jaime needs a new left arm; Lynn needs DBS (deep brain stimulation); CarMar needs pitching humility/brains. And… ?

Well as a Cardinal fan there needs to be an agressive move toward a all star shortstop not some bodies leftovers like some of the players we have acquired these last 2 years . Get real owners Big Mo you all have to move now to get the right prospects to make this team the best team that we can field you are going to have to spend money to get the players that you need for next year. As far as offense farm has about ran out of quality major league players if you don’t have Wake up get on the phone now make Cardinal Nation proud .

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