Amidst all the talk of deadline acquisitions, and the Cardinals obvious need to secure more pitching to help with the pennant drive, they need to not lose sight of another obvious need. The Cardinals should lock up Kyle Lohse right now, and keep him in St Louis for 2009 and beyond. Lohse has been rock solid in 2008, and has obviously benefited greatly from working with Dave Duncan. He could and should be the one rock of stability for the 2009 rotation.
Let's look at other possbilities for the Birds 2009 rotation. Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are expected to anchor the rotation next year, but both of them at this point are question marks, based on the injuries they have had. Wainwright should return with a clean bill of health, but there have been other pitchers with his current injury that have struggled for a couple of years to stay healthy. Carpenter is a bulldog and a top notch leader, but his injury history simply makes him a question mark when planning the 2009 rotation. Joel Piniero is signed for next year, but he too has struggled with injuries this year. Braden Looper's contract expires and will be a free agent. The Cards may have interest in bringing him back, but at what price? On the existing roster, the other possibilities for the rotation include Todd Wellemeyer, who could be a nice fit as a 4th or 5th starter, and untested rookies such as Mitchell Boggs and Mike Parisi.
Given all those question marks, it makes sense to try and lock up Lohse now. As he accumulates victories, his price is just going to go up, and he has expressed an interest in staying in St Louis beyond 2008. He is just turning 30 this fall, and working with Duncan should give him several years of prime production ahead of him. He also has shown a good work ethic and shown himself to be good in the clubhouse. He is a good anchor to keep in St Louis, and Mozeliak would be wise to make sure he is there to solidify the rotation in 2009.