Mariners acquire RHP Mike Leake from Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Mike Leake throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Looking to make a move in the American League wild card race, the Seattle Mariners have acquired starting pitcher Mike Leake from the St. Louis Cardinals.

News of the deal was first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Leake, who agreed to a five-year contract worth $80 million in December 2015, has nearly $55 million remaining on the deal. The Cardinals will be on the hook for $17 million over a multi-year period, per Rosenthal.

The Mariners also get cash and international slot money in the deal, while minor league infielder Rayder Ascanio is heading to St. Louis.

According to Nightengale, Leake waived his no-trade clause in order to make the deal happen. Leake lives in Phoenix, and the move to the Mariners means that he’ll be close to home in spring training. The Mariners train in the Phoenix area, while the Cardinals’ spring training complex is located in Florida.

In 26 starts this season, Leake has a 7-12 record with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 154 innings pitched. Leake’s most recent outing came on Aug. 26, as he allowed four runs on six hits over the course of seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. Leake has made five starts against American League opponents this season, losing one (Aug. 15 at Boston) with the other four being no-decisions.

Leake joins a pitching staff that currently ranks 15th in Major League Baseball in ERA (4.48) and 12th in WHIP (1.33). As for the starting rotation, Seattle’s starters have a combined ERA of 4.82 (22nd in MLB) and a WHIP of 1.35 (14th). James Paxton has been Seattle’s best starting pitcher in 2017 at 12-3 with a 2.78 ERA, with Ariel Miranda having won eight games and Felix Hernandez five.

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