Update: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says Westbrook will receive a $16.5 million guarantee.
The dollars aren’t in yet, but free agent Jake Westbrook will stick with the Cardinals after agreeing to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2013, Fanhouse’s Ed Price reports.
Back from Tommy John surgery, the sinkerballing Westbrook went 10-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 202 2/3 innings last season. After being traded from Cleveland to St. Louis at the deadline, he was 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts.
Although he missed most of 2008 all of 2009, Westbrook seemed like one of the safest options available in the pitching market. He’d rarely had arm problems previously, and his stuff came all of the way back following surgery. An extreme groundball pitcher, he’s never allowed more than 20 homers in a season.
Westbrook’s return is one reason the Cardinals should think long and hard about sticking with Brendan Ryan at shortstop and replacing Skip Schumaker at second base. Indications have been that they want to do the opposite, but while Schumaker is the better bet of the two to bounce back offensively, he’s a subpar defensive second baseman. Ryan, on the other hand, might be the game’s best defensive shortstop at the moment.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.