The Cardinals have Jake Westbrook at the top of their wish list, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
Spurned in their efforts to land Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt, the Cards were also talking to the Nationals about Livan Hernandez and the Rockies about Aaron Cook in recent days. No longer, according to Stark. Teams that have spoken with the Rockies and Nationals say the Cardinals are now “going in a different direction,” namely the aforementioned Westbrook.
The 32-year-old right-hander missed the entire 2009 season following Tommy John elbow surgery, but has a 4.65 ERA over 21 starts this season. Westbrook seems like a pretty good fit for the Cardinals, but sources tell Stark that the chances of him being dealt are “50-50.”
You see, Westbrook is owed roughly $4 million for the rest of this season, but would receive a $2 million bonus if he gets traded. According to Stark, the Indians “haven’t expressed much interest” in covering a significant portion of that bonus. Should they hold firm on that, it may ultimately prevent a deal from being consummated.