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Jake Westbrook Contract Talk: The Homegrown Free Agent Problem

Poor Jake Westbrook; poor St. Louis Cardinals. They're apparently talking already, and it's got nobody on the edge of his or her seat. Signing a return free agent is always a little less exciting than plucking a new one from the Winter Meetings ether, even if a returning free agent, like Westbrook, has spent exactly 12 (very successful) starts in a Cardinals uniform.

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Poor Jake Westbrook; poor us. We can't spend the offseason imagining him throwing up an ERA of 3.48 and standing in as a superb number four starter because, well, we've already seen him do it. Free agents, it seems, will always be best dreamed on, even after we spent the last four months being burned over and over by Brad Penny, the most recent member of that category to join the Cardinals. Maybe someday one of us will burn ourselves on the hot stove and then, somehow, decide to stop touching it.