DEC. 10: The D-backs circled back with Leake’s representatives last night, reports MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (Twitter link). GM Dave Stewart spoke highly of Leake to Fanragsports.com’s Jack Magruder (Twitter link), who echoes Gilbert’s report that the D-backs are still in the mix.
DEC. 9: Right-hander Mike Leake has been an oft-cited target of the Diamondbacks, but ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that Arizona is no longer pursuing him. It was reported early on Tuesday that the Diamondbacks (and Cardinals) were interested in Leake.
Given the day’s events, though, it perhaps comes as no surprise that Leake is no longer in the Diamondbacks’ plans. Arizona continued revamping its starting pitching with a huge trade to acquire Braves righty Shelby Miller, who will join Zack Greinke atop a new-look rotation. The commitments the Diamondbacks have already made to improve their pitching have been substantial, in terms of both dollars and young talent.
Leake, 28, is among the year’s younger free agents and is coming off a solid season and a nice three-year platform spent mostly with the Reds, but his market hasn’t fully come together yet as much of the early focus this offseason was on top names like David Price, Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. The crowded trade market has also perhaps slowed some of the traction on Leake, though with Miller and those three aforementioned free agents (plus Jeff Samardzija, John Lackey, Hisashi Iwakuma and J.A. Happ) off the board, Leake is increasingly becoming one of the more desirable free agents on the market.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.