March 21, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA;St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (35) in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed right-handed veteran starting pitcher Jake Westbrook to a contract extension that runs through the 2013 season and includes a mutual option for 2014. The team announced the transaction via Twitter.
Cardinals announce a contract extension with Jake Westbrook that carries through the 2013 season & includes a mutual option for 2014.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 21, 2012
The Cardinals essentially exercised Westbrook's $8.5 million option for next season and added a mutual option for 2014. According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the mutual option is for $9.5 million and comes with a $1 million buyout.
The 34-year-old Westbrook fits the mold as a Cardinals pitcher, as he's able to generate a ton of groundballs. He's posted a 3.50 ERA across 154 1/3 innings of wok this year, with a 59% groundball rate. However, Westbrook is only striking out 5.54 batters per 9 innings while walking 2.39 in the same rate.
St. Louis still has decisions to make for now and the future in regards to their pitching staff. Kyle Lohse is a free-agent at season's end and he may not fit into the team's plans while top pitching prospect Shelby Miller continues to roll in the minor leagues.