St. Louis Cardinals Sign Mike Leake


The 28-year old signs a five year deal, per Ken Rosenthal.

The St. Louis Cardinals have signed P Mike Leake to a five-year deal, reportedly worth $80 million. That may be a small price to pay for Leake, who will a starting pitcher role that the Cardinals desperately needed after the departure of John Lackey and the loss of Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery.

Leake spent the latter half 2015 with the San Francisco Giants after being traded from the Cincinnati Reds. Leake had spent the previous five years in Cincinnati, going 62-47 and averaging a 3.87 ERA as a Red. In total, Leake went 11-10 with a 3.70 ERA in 2015. Inking Leake gives St. Louis a pitcher who can eat innings à la John Lackey or Mark Buehrle; Leake owns a 162-game average of 211 innings, and pitched 192 innings in 2015. That number would have put him second on the Cardinals, behind only Lackey.

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Leake figures to be a solid number three or four behind a returning Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and perhaps Jaime Garcia. His ERA is troubling; the 3.70 mark in 2015 is .32 earned runs higher than any Cardinals starting pitcher in 2015. However, his sabermetric stats, such as FIP, WHIP, and his averages over nine innings are quite comparable to the rest of the starting staff.

Something that adds to Leake’s value is the fact that he’s an above average batter for his position, despite having his weakest year at the plate in 2015. Leake owns a career .212/.235/.310 slash line, and hit three doubles and two home runs in 73 plate appearances.

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While Leake isn’t as flashy as a David Price or Zack Greinke, he fills a need for the Cardinals and figures to be a major fixture on the staff in the coming years.