Starting pitcher Jake Westbrook and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to an extension that will keep him in St. Louis through next season and possibly 2014.

The Cardinals tweeted the news: 

CBS’ Matt Snyder also passed along this statement from Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak: 

Jake continues to be a steady and sturdy part of our pitching staff and we are pleased to announce his extension. His veteran presence is important to the makeup of our team. Jake has demonstrated his leadership with his commitment and hard work, resulting in both a terrific 2012 season and career.

This extension is not a shock; Westbrook looks comfortable with the Cardinals. He’s providing them with some very solid innings, and they’re wise to lock him up before he hits free agency at the end of the season. 

This season, the 6’3″ right-hander is 12-9 with a 3.50 earned run average and has 95 strikeouts in 154.1 innings.

He is now 28-22 with a 4.02 ERA ever since coming to St. Louis in a three-team, trade-deadline deal in 2010. 

What likely got the Cardinals moving on this deal is that starter Kyle Lohse’s contract is up at the end of the season, and he is going to command a ton of attention and a lot of money on the open market. 

Having Westbrook already in the fold for next season limits the damage that would occur if Lohse should leave, and it takes the pressure off the front office to re-sign him if the dollars he is seeking rise beyond his value. 

Time will tell where Lohse ends up, but Westbrook is in St. Louis to stay. 

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