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.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.