Soup's Back on in St. Louis: Cardinals Closing in on Jeff Suppan

Evan BruschiniCorrespondent IJune 11, 2010

With starters Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny on the disabled list and poor showings from rookies P.J. Walters and Blake Hawksworth, the St. Louis Cardinals may be close to bringing a familiar face back to Busch Stadium: Jeff Suppan.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that parameters of a deal were in place that could have the veteran right-hander, who was released by the Brewers on Monday, join the team this weekend in Arizona.

Jon Mozeliak, the Cardinals General Manager, warned that any deal was unofficial as of yet.

"We have interest," Mozeliak said, "but no decision today."

Assuming the deal goes through, the Brewers would essentially be paying Suppan over $9 million to pitch for their rivals.

In 2006, the Brewers signed Suppan to what was then the largest deal in Milwaukee history at $42 million over four years.

Suppan is best remembered for his time in St. Louis, where he went 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA from 2004-2006. His biggest impact came during the Cardinals' 2006 championship run. He was named National League Championship Series MVP for his performance against the New York Mets, and delivered a quality start in the World Series against Detroit.

However, since signing with Milwaukee that off-season, Suppan's performance has steadily declined. He was barely respectable in 2007, going 12-12 with a 4.62 ERA. However, his 1.505 WHIP revealed a deeper problem. His ERA and WHIP increased each year, finally climaxing at 7.84 and 2.000 in 2010.

He started the year on the disabled list with a neck injury, and made two starts upon his return, after which the Brewers moved him to mop-up duty in the bullpen.

If the Cardinals can complete the deal, they would pay Suppan a prorated portion of the Major League minimum, and the Brewers would cover the rest of his $12.5 million salary. He would be the latest in a long line of reclamation projects for Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan.

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