St. Louis Cardinals sign free agent Mike Leake


The St. Louis Cardinals have finally made an impactful signing this offseason, as they have signed former Cincinnati Reds’ starting pitcher Mike Leake.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the St. Louis Cardinals have landed one of the most sought after free agent pitchers left on the market in Mike Leake. The deal is reportedly five years in length and Leake will be getting $80 Million over the course of those five years, while having the protection of a full no trade clause as well, which is interesting given the quality of Leake.

This means that Leake will likely be a member of this rotation for the entire length of his five year contract, which is interesting given the Cardinals’ options in the system.

While I have been down on a potential Leake signing for most of the offseason, I think Leake can provide what the Cardinals are looking for, and that is a fifth starter, who can give them innings.

The concern with Leake is his FIP was pretty bad after being traded to the San Francisco Giants last season, considering he played in an extremely spacious ballpark in San Francisco, this is a bit of a concern, especially when you see that hitters had a .249 batting average against him while he was in San Francisco.

Before the trade, Leake was having an okay season, as he had 111 ERA+ in 21 starts and 3.94 FIP, all while allowing a pretty high 8.1 hits per nine innings. If Leake can keep the hard contact down and keep his ground ball rate in the 50s, he could have a good time in St. Louis.

A return to his 2014 season, when he had a SIERA of 3.51 and xFIP of 3.49 (from Fangraphs), would be really nice for the St. Louis Cardinals.

There’s the possibility with Leake still being fairly young, that Leake could continue to improve. Also being able to work with a veteran ace in Adam Wainwright, and “Master” Yadier Molina, could improve what Leake can bring to the team. I could see him getting better as he competes with the others in the rotation as well.

Next: Cardinals face competition on Odorizzi

While it is nice that the Cardinals have signed a starting pitching to shore up innings lost from John Lackey and Lance Lynn, I wish I was sitting here writing to you about them signing someone like a Scott Kazmir, on a one year prove it deal. But, beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.