Cardinals decline Jake Westbrook’s option for 2014

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Jake Westbrook completely fell out of the Cardinals’ plans by getting hurt and pitching terribly, and not surprisingly the team declined his $9.5 million option. He’ll get a $1 million buyout instead, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Westbrook made $9.75 million this season while throwing 117 innings with a 4.63 ERA and was yanked from the rotation in August. He spent a total of three-and-a-half seasons in St. Louis after coming over in a mid-2010 deal from Cleveland, logging 1,191 innings with a 4.29 ERA.

If healthy Westbrook should have no trouble finding work as a mid-rotation starter, but he hasn’t had a better-than-average ERA in a full season since 2007 and at 36 years old has talked about possibly retiring.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.