By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
At one-time, Mike Leake was a key addition to the St. Louis Cardinals roster. Now, he’s a former Cardinals player, as he was dealt on Wednesday.
The Seattle Mariners acquired the struggling pitcher, along with cash considerations and $750,000 of international signing cap space in a trade with the Cardinals. St. Louis is receiving minor league infielder Rayder Ascanio.
The 29-year-old Leake has three-plus-years remaining on his five-year, $80 million deal he signed with the Cardinals prior to the 2016 season. The Cardinals will pay $17 million for the Mariners to take his deal.
In order for this deal to be made, Leake needed to waive his no-trade clause.
“[It was] a surprise move,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “But as we were looking at where we wanted our organization to go, we had two realities. One is that we have a lot of young pitching coming and we felt like for us to start our offseason now made more sense than trying to wait.
“We felt the importance to start this younger track of pitching moving forward, beginning today. The other component of this as we talk about our off-season is our outfield depth. At some point, we’ll have to cross that bridge as well. But, as we look to continue to compete in 2007, also allowing us to focus on a little bit on our future, that was what today was about. I still think we expect to compete. We’re just going to do it with a different name and a different face.”
It’s not clear who will take Leake’s spot in the rotation. He was expected to start on Friday against the San Francisco Giants.
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