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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

TCN Blog 2015 Top Story #14: Mike Leake Signing

Earlier this winter, the St. Louis Cardinals said goodbye to starting pitcher John Lackey and lost Lance Lynn for the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery. They offered $200 million to free agent David Price, but lost out to the Boston Red Sox.

The Cardinals addressed the rotation need on December 22nd by an agreement with free agent pitcher Mike Leake on a five-year contract worth $80 million.  The deal reportedly includes full no-trade protection and a mutual option that could increase the total value to the $93-$94 million range.

The former Cincinnati Reds starter was even more appealing to the Cardinals because there are no penalties attached. Leake did not receive a qualifying offer and a loss of first-round draft pick attached to his signing because he was traded to the San Francisco Giants last season.

Though the Cardinals need additional offense as well, the club seemed more immediately focused on finding value in a pitching-heavy market. Whether the club is through with its off-season moves remain to be seen. Other potential areas of focus, whether via free agency or trade, could be the bullpen and a first baseman or right fielder. Young pitching could be offered in trade.

Leake joins a 2016 rotation that also includes Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha. The next level of starting pitching reserves include three left-handers, all of whom have some Major League experience in Tyler Lyons, Tim Cooney and Marco Gonzales.

Link to The Cardinal Nation Blog’s top 20 stories of the year countdown

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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5 Responses to “TCN Blog 2015 Top Story #14: Mike Leake Signing”

  1. blingboy says:

    I like the move just fine. Avoids too many eggs in one basket and also avoids the guy who sucks up all the oxygen. He could do quite well on this team, and I think he adds to the whole beyond his personal numbers. A good fit, in other words. His offense and defense should play nicely as well. Waino is probably happy that Leake doesn’t seem to think Adam is all but done like that overblown singles hitter that bolted for the Cubs.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Leake is rare as going from a college right into a ML rotation, with no minors en route.

    We had to pay Leake the competitive market price. No bargains in free agency of established veterans. Cueto cost the Giants $130mm, but the Reds inked him for only $5k. The bargains are to be found among amateurs.

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