Mariners trade RHP Mike Leake to Arizona for prospect Jose Caballero
After a few different tries, Mike Leake is finally going to play in Arizona.
The Mariners traded Leake to the Arizona Diamondbacks just before the MLB trade deadline came down at 1 p.m., their second trade of the day, for 22-year-old infielder Jose Caballero, a prospect with the Diamondbacks’ High-A affiliate.
The Mariners are also sending cash along in the deal.
Leake was reportedly almost traded to Arizona earlier this season. Not only did the Diamondbacks get him this time, but they will slot him in place of ace Zack Greinke, who is on his way to the Astros in another late deadline-day trade.
Leake is understandably happy about the trade to Arizona, a move which required him to waive his no-trade clause. He starred in college at Arizona State, lives in the area during the offseason and had previously wanted to sign with the Diamondbacks before the 2016 season to be close to family.
Leake very gracious on his way out of the organization . Happy to be heading home to Az. but appreciative of what he was able to get out of Seattle in advancing his career. Said he really learned to slow things down pitch to pitch.
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) July 31, 2019
The former Sun Devil returns to Arizona.
Good luck to Mike Leake in the Valley of the Sun. pic.twitter.com/5i32VKhx9w
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 31, 2019
The 31-year-old Leake went 9-8 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.26 WHIP for the Mariners this season. A 2017 trade acquisition of Seattle’s from St. Louis, he threw a complete game shutout on July 19 against the Angels, taking a perfect game into the ninth in that contest, and is tied for 17th in the majors in quality starts with 13. He pitched his final game for Seattle on Tuesday, allowing five runs over 5 2/3 innings to take a no-decision in an M’s win over Texas.
According to John Gambadoro of our sister station Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix, the Mariners are footing most of the bill remaining on Leake’s contract (click here for a look at the trade from an Arizona perspective).
The Dbacks will pick up only $6 million of the remaining money owed to Mike Leake
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) July 31, 2019
Leake has a substantial contract, making $16 million this year, a $15 million salary next year and an $18 million mutual option for 2021 with a $5 million buyout, according to Spotrac.
Caballero, a Panama native and 2017 seventh-round pick by Arizona out of Chipola Junior College (Fla.), hit .268 with a .388 on-base percentage, .784 OPS and three home runs for High-A Visalia in 2019.
He suffered a hand injury in late May but already had 28 stolen bases in 35 attempts in just 43 games, which led the California League at the time. He was sent out on a rehab assignment with the D-backs’ Arizona League affiliate Wednesday, according to his MiLB.com profile, so he is close to a full return.
Caballero has mainly played third base this season, with appearances also at second base and shortstop. The Mariners, who don’t have an obvious successor behind current third baseman Kyle Seager, are shallow in depth at the position in their farm system.