ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals pitcher and free-agent-to-be Jake Westbrook had surgery on his left (non-pitching) shoulder after the season to repair a small tear, a source close to Westbrook confirmed to the Post-Dispatch early Wednesday morning.
Westbrook, acquired from the Cleveland Indians on July 31, pitched with the tear and irritation in his left shoulder for the latter part of the season before having it repaired. He had the surgery within the past 10 days, and it was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.
The injury was described as a "minor tear" and the source stressed that it would not impact his offseason preparation. There should be no change in his throwing program this winter, per what Westbrook was told by the surgeon.
Officials with the Cardinals declined comment in recent days about the surgery. By rule, the club is limited in the medical information it can release about its players. An official said the team in prohibited from publicly discussing medical information about pending free agents, just as it would be about free agents.
Westbrook will become a free agent at the end of the World Series. The Cardinals will have a five-day window when they can negotiate exclusively with the righthander before he hits the open market. As the season came to a close, both sides expressed a mutual interest in his return.
"I'm definitely going to be open-minded about pretty much everything," Westbrook told the P-D shortly before the end of the regular season. "If they had interest, I've definitely enjoyed my time here. I've gotten to know the guys well. The organization is definitely one that everybody knows about, that I've certainly heard a lot about, and now, firsthand, I've gotten to see that everybody was right."
Westbrook, 33, went 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts for the Cardinals. His ERA was the second-best in the rotation during his time with the team, behind only Adam Wainwright's.
The Cardinals acquired Westbrook from Cleveland in a three-team trade that, in part, sent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to San Diego and brought Westbrook and a minor-league pitcher to the Cardinals.
The righthanded sinkerballer, long an object of the Cardinals' interest, won three of his final four starts and had a 2.88 ERA in those games. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his final start for the Cardinals, a 3-0 victory against the Colorado Rockies.