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St. Louis Cardinals' Jake Westbrook Signing Probably Prices Them Out Of The Kyle Lohse Sweepstakes

Maybe that's the wrong way to say it. I'll try again: Now that the St. Louis Cardinals are priced out of the Kyle Lohse sweepstakes, they've signed Jake Westbrook. After beating Bud Norris and the Houston Astros Wednesday, Lohse is sitting at 13-2 with an ERA of 2.61; after a strong comeback season in 2011 he's having his best season ever in 2012.

That's good news for the Cardinals' current Kyle Lohse deal, which looked like an enormous bust after he struggled through its first two seasons. But anybody who's planning to sign Kyle Lohse's next contract has watched, all summer, as the price has risen to a place most people don't want to go for a 34-year-old control artist.

Especially a control artist whose xFIP, over four on the season, is a solid run-and-a-half higher than his ERA. I can't take anything away from Lohse, who's been an efficient, consistent delight all year, but he's gone from looking like a one-or-two-year guy to the kind of pitcher who will probably ask somebody for four more years, even if he doesn't get them.

Jake Westbrook, meanwhile, has bounced back from his own mediocre season to be stupendously Jake Westbrook. It's a perfect fit.