The St. Louis Cardinals wasted no time extending one of their most successful starting pitchers, free-agent-to-be, Kyle Lohse. It seemed a deal was imminent when the righty was scratched from his scheduled start in the last game of the season to undergo a physical. Today, the Cards made the official announcement. Matthew Leach has more.
The 4-year contract is said to be worth $41 million, and offers a full no-trade clause. It’s a deal similar to the one he was hoping to get last offseason before the Cardinals signed him cheaply when there were no other takers. Earning only $4.25 million this season, Lohse finished the year with a 15-6 record, and an ERA of 3.78 in 200 innings.
The backloaded contract is reportedly worth $7.125 million for 2009 (plus a $1.25 million signing bonus). So, the Cardinals should still have plenty of money to try and fill the remaining holes on the roster.
Overall, I like the move. I know that Lohse had a career year in his first season with the Cards, but I also think that you’re a product of your environment, and I’ve seen plenty of players play their best baseball in St. Louis. It’s no secret that Lohse likes it here, and I have no reason to believe that he’ll be any less of a pitcher next season.
So, John Mozeliak can already put a check mark in one of the offseason to-do boxes, but he’s still got a lot more work to do. It should be an interesting winter.