The St. Louis Cardinals made a 1 year, $13.3 million qualifying offer to Kyle Lohse today, the final day to make such an offer. The Cardinals had to make an offer in order to receive a compensatory draft pick if Lohse opts to sign with another team this offseason, which he is expected to do. Either way, Lohse now has until next Friday to accept the offer if he wants to return to the Cardinals for 2013.
The qualifying offer concept is a change under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement which replaces the old Type A/Type B free agent compensation system. Something that I’m sure relieves General Manager John Mozeliak, who told the United Cardinal Bloggers in September about his indecision about offering arbitration to Octavio Dotel last November. He said he got a mystery call from baseball that they were simply going to give them the compensatory pick without the need for arbitration and he said, “Sweet!”
The qualifying offer is determined by the average of the top-125 salaries in baseball from the previous season. That means a $13.3 million average from the 2012 for qualifying offers this offseason.
The rosters and rotations were set today for the National League Divisonal Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals today.
For the Cardinals, they will add Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, and Chris Carpenter to the roster. The three were left off of the Wild Card Game roster as they would not be being used in the game. In exchange, LHP Sam Freeman, catcher Bryan Anderson, and shortstop Ryan Jackson will be left off.
It’s worth nothing that the moves leave Marc Rzepczyski as the only left handed reliever on the roster. Meanwhile, the moves of Jackson and Anderson off the roster were not unexpected. Neither received much playing time in September and were basically there as depth in a “just in case” situation.
As my Dad told me last night, “I was expecting a Wild Card Game, not a wild Cards’ game.” Major League Baseball’s first Wild Card Game, certainly lived up to the wild factor. The 94 win Atlanta Braves were facing off against the 88 game St. Louis Cardinals at Turner Field on Friday evening with a National League Divisional Series berth on the line.
Facing off for the game was the Braves’ Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57) and the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86).
Medlen was the starter of note, because the Braves had won 23 consecutive games that Medlen had started, dating back to May 29, 2010. The streak was interrupted by Tommy John surgery and he started this season in the bullpen for the Braves.
Lohse was the quieter of the pair, despite being one of the top pitchers in the National League all season. He led the Cardinals’ rotation in ERA this year. A rotation that was the fourth best in baseball. He had also never won a playoff start going into this game, having a career postseason ERA of 5.12 in 31 2/3 innings. Last year during the Cardinals’ playoff run, he allowed 11 runs in 12 2/3 innings.
On Major League Baseball’s Facebook page yesterday there was a picture posted that featured images of R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Johnny Cueto, and Craig Kimbrell and asked who is this year’s NL Cy Young Award winner. Cardinals’ fans immediately noticing that Kyle Lohse is missing from the list of contenders, bumped from the image by two guys who have higher ERAs and a reliever.
The question you now have to ask yourself, is does Kyle Lohse belong in the conversation? I think you can certainly answer that question with a yes. His 2.71 ERA is currently third in the National League. His 15-3 record leaves many desiring more wins, something the Cardinals have had trouble earning him while their offense has struggled with consistency.
With Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey within shouting distance of 20 wins, the magical number, they are automatically viewed as the favorites. But the common complaint with wins is that they don’t really tell you how good the pitcher was, but rather how good their team was. Which is definitely true. Which is why I prefer to look at the loss. Continue reading
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed Jake Westbrook to a new deal. The deal is essentially a 1 year deal that gives Westbrook $250,000 more than he would have made on his 2013 option and gives both parties a mutual option worth $9.5 million for 2014.
Westbrook, 34, said earlier this month that he intended to exercise his half of his $8.5 million option for 2013 but admitted he wasn’t sure what the team was going to do. He got his answer.
He is certainly pitching worth it right now too. With a 12-9 record and a 3.50 ERA in 24 starts, he is enjoying the second best season of his career by ERA+. His best was 2004 where he got his only career All Star nod and finished at 14-9 with a 3.38 ERA. Continue reading
Here the Cardinals’ sit today, 7.5 games back in the NL Central with a 54-48 record after 102 games. After 102 games last year they were tied for the division lead with a 54-48 record.
Over the last 10 years, a team has needed 90 wins to get a Wild Card in the National League. That means over the last 60 games of the season that start Tuesday against Colorado, the team needs to go 36-24, that’s .600 baseball. Still doable without going on some crazy run.
When you look at the schedule and Home/Road splits for teams, we don’t play a team with a winning record where we’re playing them until we go to Cincinnati and then to Pittsburgh starting August 24th. That means the next 24 days are absolutely crucial for the Cardinals if they intend to make the playoffs.
If the Cardinals and the other teams continue to play at the same winning %s, the Cardinals will likely go 32-28 the rest of the way. But ladies and gentlemen, that’s why we call it baseball. From August 24th to September 2nd we have a 10 game road trip where we play Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Washington. That will be the season.
Something that’s also fun to think about is that the Cardinals host the Reds in the final series of the season in Busch Stadium. How epic would it be to rob them of the division on the final day of the season? Continue reading