TORONTO (AP) - The NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals made a three-team trade Saturday, getting pitcher Jake Westbrook from Cleveland and sending outfielder Ryan Ludwick to NL West-leading San Diego.
The deal was announced about three hours before the non-waiver trading deadline.
Westbrook was scratched from his start for the Indians at Toronto. A 2004 All-Star, the 32-year-old righty was 6-7 with a 4.65 ERA in 21 starts this year. He is 69-71 overall in 10 major league seasons.
The Cardinals had been looking to boost their rotation. Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny have been out with injuries and Jeff Suppan, signed in midseason, has not been able to regain his form.
The 32-year-old Ludwick broke into the majors with Texas in 2002, and became an everyday player when he joined the Cardinals. He’s a career .272 hitter whose best season came in 2008, when he hit 37 homers and had 113 RBIs and was an All-Star.
Ludwick hit .281 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs this season. He was eligible for free agency after this season and the Cardinals already have a number of high-priced players such as Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Plus, rookie outfielder Jon Jay has had a huge July.
“We’ve been looking for a quality starting pitcher to add to our rotation for some time,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement. “Westbrook is someone we’ve had our eyes on for a good period of time.”
“We also want to wish Ryan Ludwick all the best with the Padres. He did an outstanding job for us over the past 3 1/2 seasons,” he said.
The Cardinals got cash along with Westbrook from the Indians. St. Louis also acquired left-hander Nick Greenwood from San Diego. The 22-year-old Greenwood was 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA at Class A Fort Wayne.
The Indians got Double-A pitcher Corey Kluber from San Diego. The 24-year-old righty was 6-6 with a 3.45 ERA at Double-A and led the Texas League in strikeouts.