St. Louis Cardinals: Free Agent Pitchers Who Make Sense

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Sep 30, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Mike Leake (13) throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Leake

Coming off of a career year in which he posted 11 victories and 2 complete games, Mike Leake has expressed desire to play out west throughout the offseason. Although the Los Angeles Dodgers have recently grown interested in Leake’s services, he offers several capabilities to be a St. Louis Cardinals commodity, highlighted by his pitch efficiency with Cincinnati and San Francisco.

Leake’s WHIP has decreased in each of his last four seasons and this improvement could carry over in a friendlier pitching environment like Busch Stadium. Having experience against the NL Central also builds a case for a divisional return, particularly with 11 wins against the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates over the last three seasons. Additionally, his .212 career batting average and six home runs gives Leake more upside than the typical free agent starting pitcher.

What the St. Louis Cardinals will most likely be looking at with Leake is the way he pitched when he was in San Francisco, which was not impressive as in nine starts there, Leake finished with a  FIP of 4.83 in nine starts with the Giants. That does not impress me and won’t impress John Mozeliak either. At this point, Leake is a pretty pricey innings eater.

Given what we have as his reasonable contract, and his unimpressive numbers, I would be fairly surprised to see him come to St. Louis. But, if his contract were smaller and he were quite desperate, the Cardinals could listen.

Reasonable contract: 4 years, $55 million

Next: Scott Kazmir