Details remain sparse, but it seems the Diamondbacks and Mariners nearly lined up on a trade involving veteran Seattle right-hander Mike Leake. According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, the teams “worked to finalize” the swap as late as Tuesday evening.
Clearly, talks fell through since Leake ended up on the bump. He says that he never caught wind of the possible deal, which certainly is notable given that he possesses full no-trade protection. Leake added that he’s willing to consider approving a deal in the right circumstances.
It seems quite likely Leake will at some point have an opportunity to consider approving a move. With the Mariners trying to move more veteran assets after already shipping out Jay Bruce, it’s not surprising to hear that the club went down the line on a swap involving the expensive pitcher.
Leake, 31, has managed to deliver 81 2/3 innings of 4.30 ERA ball this year despite some worrying peripherals. He has averaged 6.2 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 but has already surrendered 18 home runs. That said, Leake’s start last night was awfully impressive. He worked a 119-pitch complete game while allowing just one earned run.
While the Diamondbacks are obviously interested in adding Leake or another veteran starter to bolster their staff, it’s hard to imagine they’d take on anything close to his remaining contract. Leake is earning $16MM this year, $15MM in 2020, and a $5MM buyout for a 2021 mutual option. The Cardinals are on the hook for $5MM this year and $4MM next, but it’s still a hefty commitment. It’s not clear whether the Arizona organization remains a potential landing spot for Leake.