April 17, 2014

MLB Trade Rumors: Jake Westbrook Traded to St. Louis Cardinals

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)

  • Tim

    It’s sad to see Westbrook go after all these years, even though he was hurt and his contract ended up not being the best decision. It seems like he’s been here forever, and he fields his position as well as anyone and seems to be a great clubhouse guy. I hope he gets a championship in St. Louis–I like their team and I’ll be rooting for them to win the World Series this year. It would be nice to get Westbrook back at a discounted rate next year and add a veteran presence with Carmona in the rotation.

  • Shamrock

    Yet another pitching prospect.

  • Brian

    Excited Jordan Brown is getting a shot. Congrats, Jordan!

  • MattyFos

    We only got one prospect? Or is Kluber the most notable?
    I wish we could have traded Westbrook to the Reds. I think he could help them win the division.

  • MattyFos

    It amazes me that we can’t trade Travis Hafner. Though, I’m not sure how long his contract is. But a National League team would love to have a power lefty as a pinch hitter. Kind of like Thome last year for the Dodgers. But if Hafner’s contract still has like 2 or 3 years on it, then no team would even think about him for another year or two.

  • JNeids

    I just picture the Red Sox and Yankees as these mafia-like soldiers walking down a street of poor, middle-eastern cart pushers wondering which of the cart-pushers’ daughters they can buy for cheap.

  • JNeids

    In other words, I hate this time of the season

  • mgbode

    I would love to trade hafner. he has a few more years at a ridiculous salary left though. no team is going to take hafner until the last year of his deal (i think 2012, but not sure?)

    I love Westbrook. Always the grizzly veteran on a team full of young pitching prospects. Able to give us consistency and seemed to win the games we needed him to win even when putting a terrible IF defense behind a groundball pitcher.

    I will hope against hope we are able to regain his services this offseason, though I see someone swooping in and keeping him from us. We’ll see. Best of luck Mr. Westbrook in your pennant chase.

  • mgbode

    JNeids – we have traded useless for the last 3 years Peralta, vet-on-a-cheap contract Kearns (in other words: this is why we signed him), and Westbrook (whose contract is over and we probably have the same odds of resigning him anyway, but get an extra prospect either way).

    all smart moves. none of these guys is winning any MVP or Cy Young award in their careers. and maybe one of these moves becomes another Carlos Santana trade.

    now, let’s get to August so we can trade Wood.

  • JNeids

    mgbode – I certainly wasn’t complaining about the moves we just made this season, I’m fine with all of them. I just don’t like this part of the season in general because it just shopping/preying season for the big boys on the little boys. And yes, I realize that’s exactly how the Cavs acquired ‘Tawn, but at least in the NBA the buyers and sellers change from time to time – you don’t have the same teams in the same position every season.

  • Shamrock

    Kerry Wood to Yankees.

  • saggy

    what a great move by the GM.
    we traded Kearns and Wood for 2 players to be named later and $2,172,131. Oh, i meant it COSTS us $2.17M! WTF?!?!?

  • Mike

    Hafner’s getting $13M next year and again in ’12, plus a club option in ’13 that will still take a $2.75M buyout.

  • Tommy

    @12

    It saved us a couple million on Wood’s contract. We sent the 2+ mil to NY but thats only roughly half of what we would’ve had to pay Wood the rest of the way. Plus if Wood stays healthy the rest of the season I believe we get another $500,000 from the Yanks.

  • Desert Wahoo

    I too would have like to have seen more on th return from dealing Westbrook. The guy is a class act and I really do hope we can get him back during the winter months.

    Well I guess we are really in the middle of rebuilding now folks. Funny to think Carmona as the veteran presance on that staff.

  • JM

    Westbrook to the Indians or a contender that will offer him more? Hmm tough choice for Jake there.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    Best of luck to Jake. I have a feeling he can/will be a stud pitcher in the NL.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Jon

    jake will do great in Stl. Good infield defense, and a nice group of players around him.

    I don’t think his value was that high, though, so I’m glad we got the prospect we did. Kluber might stick as a mid-rotation starter, and if not, he’ll be a valuable bullpen arm. Jake was owed considerable money, and in reality, he’s a #4 on a contender these days, so the take is good enough for me.

    People will call me crazy, but I believe that Kearns was our most valuable trade chip, because he can contribute as a corner OF for practically no money. I’m curious as to the PTBNL for him, as Shappy said it would be a player who would impact the major league roster (eventually). We’ll see.

    And looking forward to Jordan Brown today. Congrats to him.

  • CLESportsFan

    I understand all the moves the Tribe made EXCEPT for only getting an AA prospect for Westbrook… I don’t understand that. You trade away legitimate major league talent for an AA guy. Does Shapiro know it’s o.k. to trade for another major league player or even a AAA player every now and then???

    And as for the possiblilty of signing Westbrook this off season……. LOL ! YEAH RIGHT !!!!

    We know how the Indians off season signings go. Check whose currently on the DL for the rest of the season and will be a free agent after this year… that’s who the Indians will target !

  • Charles

    CLESportsFan – It couldn’t possibly be that no one was willing to give up a decent AAA or MLB player for Westbrook, right? I’m sure Shapiro was just loaded with offers of legit talent already in the majors, and he was like ‘I’ll pass’

  • CLESportsFan

    Charles, my point is that we traded away yet another starting pitcher from an already depleted rotation only to get someone that the Indians are “hopeful” will be part of their major league roster some day.

    Whose going to show all these young pitchers how to handle themselves in the majors?

    If there was no offers for an AAA or Major League player, then why even make the trade? There was no guarantee that Jake was going to walk at the end of the season. He’s not like CC and Cliff Lee who we know didn’t want to stay.

  • mgbode

    @19 – reread your post and explain it please.

    so, you think there is no chance at resigning Westbrook this offseason, yet you think we should not have traded him unless we got a AAA prospect that is MLB ready? so, you wanted to get NOTHING for him.

    if a AAA prospect is MLB ready, then why wouldn’t that team just call him up? If he is worse than Westbrook, then why would we want him either?

    The reason you see us get AA prospects is because we can afford to wait out the year with them and let them develop for when we might need them. We get better prospects by getting guys who are further away (because of the inherent risks).

  • CLESportsFan

    mgbode, what I’m saying is, we hear the same thing every year that we will “try” to re-sign these players that we trade away (CC, Cliff Lee ring a bell?) It NEVER happens. I would have rather the team kept Westbrook for the rest of the season to help mentor these young pitchers.

    How do you know we didn’t already get NOTHING for Westbrook?

    Just because there’s an expiring contract doesn’t mean a team MUST trade that player. The Indians have fallen into that vicious cycle. I’m fine with the other moves they made, I just they should have gotten something more for Westbrook.

  • mgbode

    we did not try to resign Cliff Lee. he made it apparent that he wanted to test FA.

    we gave CC a $75/5year offer. He knew he could do better in FA and told the FO.

    not sure how you think we can afford to give $23mil/year to CC when at best we have a $80mil payroll. that is a bad economic model for any team especially for a player that only plays once every 5 days and is at a position that is often injured

    We got a prospect for Westbrook. That is better than nothing. He may not pan out, but there are better odds he does than what we would have gotten if Westbrook walked away in FA this offseason (which is absolutely nada as he isn’t going to be a typeB FA)

  • CLESportsFan

    That’s exactly my point… we did not try to sign Cliff Lee, but at the time of the trade Shapiro said what he always says that they would make an attempt to sign him in the offseason. (It never happened)

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope all these prospects pan out, but eventually this front office is going to have to retain some of the players or we will constantly be rebuilding.