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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Cardinals reach agreement with Mike Leake on five-year, $80 million deal


After an offseason that has already seen them lose both John Lackey and Jason Heyward to the divisional rival Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Cardinals are done sitting on their hands and letting a mass exodus out of the Gateway to the West happen.

On Tuesday, the team reached an agreement with righthander Mike Leake on a five-year, $80 million deal per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The deal is said to include a full no-trade clause and a mutual option that could potentially increase its value to north of $93 million.

Leake, 28, went 11-10 with a 3.56 ERA, a 4.20 FIP, and 119 strikeouts last season splitting time between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants, who acquired him at the trade deadline.

An average annual value of $16 million might seem like a hefty price tag for a pitcher like Leake who has never been much more than a back-end of the rotation starter. The San Diego native, who also attracted interest from other National League suitors this winter, is essentially a low-strikeout, low-upside innings eater. But the Cardinals needed to make a move, and they could use the increased depth behind guys like Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Carlos Martinez.

In any case, Leake will be reunited in St. Louis with former Reds teammate Jonathan Broxton, which means we could be seeing more fashion fireworks in the home dugout.

Image Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

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