It’s no secret that the Mariners desperately need help in their rotation, and it doesn’t help that the market for starting pitching is incredibly lacking. But the Mariners were able to acquire Mike Leake from the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday morning.
With Leake, the Mariners also received cash considerations and some international slot money for minor league infielder Rayder Ascanio.
Leake had a stellar start to the 2017 season. In April, the 29-year-old went 3-1 with a 1.35 ERA in five starts. Recently, though, he has struggled, going 0-3 with an 8.88 ERA in five August starts.
Since the second half began, batters have hit .347/.394/.497 against Mike Leake, whose ERA in those nine starts is 6.90.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 30, 2017
Despite his recent struggles, the eight-year veteran should still be an improvement to the Mariners depleted rotation. Currently, the rotation consists of Erasmo Ramirez, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo, Marco Gonzales and Andrew Albers.
Overall this season, Leake is 7-12 with an ERA of 4.02 and 154 innings pitched in 26 starts. He will likely start one of the Mariners weekend series against Oakland.
While this move can bolster the current rotation, or lack thereof, Leake will contribute to the Mariners for the next three years. His contract runs through the 2020 season with an option for 2021.
As a whole this is a pretty good move. The Mariners didn’t give up very much at all to get Leake, and they don’t have to pay him his whole contract. But most of all, he has control, as have all the other pitchers Jerry Dipoto has acquired this season. Sure, this team has a shot at the playoffs this year, but this almost feels like an early offseason move.
Looking forward to next season, the Mariners rotation will consist of James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Now Mike Leake. With Hisashi Iwakuma not likely to return and Drew Smyly out for at least the first half of next season, Dipoto still has plenty of work ahead in order to build the teams rotation for 2018.
But for now, the dumpster fire that is the current rotation is now a little less dumpster firey with the addition of Leake.