Mariners acquire veteran starter Mike Leake from Cardinals
Once again, the Mariners have made a significant trade after last month’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Seattle has acquired veteran right-handed starting pitcher Mike Leake from the St. Louis Cardinals, along with international signing cap space of $750,000, for minor league shortstop Rayder Ascanio.
Leake, 29, is signed through 2020 with a mutual team and club option for 2021, according to Spotrac.com. He is owed $48 million over the next three seasons. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cardinals will send $17 million to the Mariners over a multi-year period to help cover Leake’s contract.
Leake will provide much-needed help to a starting rotation decimated by injuries in the middle of a push for a playoff spot. James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are all currently on the disabled list, not to mention Drew Smyly, who underwent Tommy John surgery and won’t return until late next season at the earliest.
A former first-round draft pick, Leake is 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 103 strikeouts and 35 walks in 26 starts (154 innings) this season. This is his eighth season in the majors, and he signed a five-year deal with St. Louis after a strong campaign in 2015 in which he had a 3.70 ERA and career-best 1.16 WHIP for the Reds and Giants.
The Leake acquisition is the second big trade the Mariners have made since the non-waiver trade deadline passed on July 31, the other being to get first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Oakland A’s. It’s also the second notable trade Seattle has made with St. Louis this season, as they picked up left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals for outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill last month.