Tuesday morning, a Cardinals concluded to a five-year agreement value $80 million with giveaway representative right-hander Mike Leake. The understanding includes a full no-trade proviso as good as an choice for a sixth year.
St. Louis did win 100 games in 2015, giving them a best record in baseball, though they’ve depressed behind a Cubs this offseason, partly given John Lackey and Jason Heyward sealed with Chicago as giveaway agents. Lackey and Heyward were a Cardinals’ best pitcher and position actor by WAR in 2015, respectively.
Leake gives a Cardinals some much-needed pitching abyss and helps tighten a opening with a Cubs, notwithstanding slightly. Here are 5 things to know about a signing.
1. It was customarily a matter of time until a Cardinals spent money.
The Cardinals clearly came into a offseason with some income to spend. They were a runners-up for David Price, reportedly charity something in a $180 million to $190 million range. They also finished a outrageous offer to Heyward, that was pronounced to be somewhere around $200 million.
That income was still blazing a hole in a team’s pocket, and while GM John Mozeliak pronounced he doesn’t design a “dynamic signing,” they were going to use some of it somewhere. Leake fits a team’s mold as a pitch-to-contact maestro starter. They’ve had success maximizing guys like this in a past. Think Jeff Suppan and Kyle Lohse.
2. The Cardinals unequivocally indispensable revolution help.
With a 2.99 ERA, a Cardinals had by distant a best revolution in ball in 2015, and a best given a 2011 Phillies. They also unequivocally indispensable revolution assistance this offseason given their best pitcher (Lackey) became a giveaway representative and their holdovers all had some arrange of health emanate in 2015.
Adam Wainwright: Missed many of a deteriorate with a ripped Achillies.
Carlos Martinez: Season finished early due to shoulder strain.
Jaime Garcia: Limited to 20 starts by shoulder issue. Only 56 starts from 2012-15.
Michael Wacha: Stayed healthy though was noticeably fatigued late in a season.
The contingent of Tyler Lyons, Marco Gonzales and Tim Cooney give a Cardinals some Triple-A pitching depth. Rather than counting on one of them as a fifth starter, Leake knocks them down a brace on a abyss chart.
If Wainwright, Martinez, Garcia and Wacha stay healthy in 2016, a Cardinals will be great. Leake gives a group some insurance in box damage does strike.
3. Not carrying to pledge a breeze collect is a good bonus.
Players contingency sojourn on their group all deteriorate to be authorised for a subordinate offer. Leake was traded from a Reds to a Giants during midseason, definition San Francisco could not proposal a subordinate offer and replenish a breeze pick. The Cardinals will keep their initial rounder, now No. 27 overall, notwithstanding signing Leake. That’s not insignificant, not with a approach St. Louis drafts.
4. Leake is in his primary and has combined velocity.
The Reds drafted Leake with a 8th altogether collect in a 2009 breeze and he finished their Opening Day revolution in 2010. His customarily teenager joining knowledge was a brief army in a Arizona Fall League.
So, interjection to that miss of teenager joining time, Leake is sincerely immature for a giveaway representative starter. He incited 28 final month, so this agreement is shopping his age 28-32 seasons, flattering most a rise of his career. Also, Leake has indeed combined quickness in new seasons:
Usually pitchers remove quickness as their careers progress. Leake’s finished a opposite, presumably given he was a two-way actor in college who played a margin on days he didn’t pitch. Focusing full-time on pitching as a pro might have led to increasing arm strength.
Either way, Leake is throwing harder than ever before and he’s right pound in a center of what are customarily a primary years of a player’s career.
5. Leake’s bat is a good reward too.
Thanks to his days as a position actor in college, Leake is a flattering good hitter for a pitcher. He owns a career .212/.235/.310 batting line — he’s strike dual home runs in any of a final dual seasons and 3 of a final 4 altogether — in a universe where a normal pitcher strike .130/.167/.170 in 2015.
Don’t get me wrong, Leake’s offense wasn’t a pushing force behind a understanding or anything like that. I’m only indicating out that he’s not a sum 0 during a image and does supplement some value with his bat relations to other pitchers. Leake will assistance a Cardinals emanate some genuine runs on offense going forward. It’s a good small bonus.