Jake Westbrook will be coming back to the St. Louis Cardinals on a two-year deal with a mutual option, Post-Dispatch reports, cementing a rotation where uncertainty has commingled with multi-year extensions since early 2009. Ken Rosenthal tweets that $16.5 million are guaranteed.
Westbrook, who returned to Major League Baseball in 2010 after spending most of two years recovering from elbow surgery, is 73-75 in a 10-season career spent mostly with the Cleveland Indians. He joined the Cardinals in July, in part of a three-way deal that sent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to San Diego, and went 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts. His groundball-oriented gameplan and 1970s birthday were an immediate fit in Dave Duncan's vaunted rotation.
Westbrook comes into the 2011 season set to reprise his role as the Cardinals' fifth starter.
With the rotation solidified in the near-term, the Cardinals turn to their other offseason obligations, which include upgrades at either or both positions in the middle infield and the negotiation of Albert Pujols's next contract.