Jake Westbrook, reliable Indians starter for the past decade, has been traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Westbrook was scheduled to start in Toronto this afternoon but as talks intensified over the past few days, it became apparent this morning that only a few minor details needed to be ironed out and he would be scratched. Tony Lastoria first reported that Josh Tomlin would make the start for the Tribe today on three days rest.
The rumored deal involves three teams as reported by Tom Krasovic out of San Diego. At this point, Westbrook is definitely going to the Cardinals according to Jon Heyman on MLB Network. If the 3 team deal is how it works out, the Cardinals will get Westbrook and a prospect from the San Diego Padres. The Padres will get outfield bat and former Indian Ryan Ludwick from the Cards. And for our Tribe, well, we get “prospects.” UPDATE – It is being reported that the Tribe will receive Padres AA pitcher and 24 year old Corey Kluber. Kluber’s stats with San Antonio this season – 136 K only 40 BB in 122 2/3 IP. Has a 3.45 ERA. The Indians have called Jordan Brown up to Cleveland to take the Westbrook’s spot.
Westbrook was 6-7 in 21 starts this season with a 4.65 ERA after returning from Tommy John surgery in 2008. Aside from a brief stint with the Yankees at the start of his career, he had spent his entire career in Cleveland. He finished with a 69-71 record and 4.34 ERA in 221 career appearances with the Tribe. He will likely become the 4th starter in a loaded Cardinals rotation that is battling for the NL Central title with the Cincinnati Reds.
Westbrook joins Jhonny Peralta and Austin Kearns as this week’s traded Wahoos. Kerry Wood, activated this morning to take the place vacated by the Kearns trade, is still on the block with the Red Sox showing interest. With the 4 PM deadline approaching, it is likely that Wood is jettisoned via waivers in August – something he is expected to pass through because of his salary.
As our own Jon wrote back in June, one legitimate scenario involves the Indians re-signing Westbrook this offseason. Westbrook will be an ideal middle of the rotation starter in the National League but he has also loved the Indians organization and his time here in Cleveland. The Indians also remain impressed with Jake as he continues to fully recover from Tommy John. As for the Indians rotation going forward this season, expect to see David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez return with Westbrook gone and Talbot on the DL.
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)