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.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim