To say Mike Leake has had an up and down year is an understatement. His performance has ebbed and flowed and his comments about the direction of the team have made it clear he wants out of town.
Rumors flew last month that Leake was nearly dealt to Arizona but ownership nixed the deal. Since then, Leake has been pretty consistent with 2 or 3 hiccups thrown into the mix, including his last start against the Angels when he was unable to get out of the first inning.
While the Mariners are motivated sellers, the market for Leake doesn’t appear to be hopping. There are going to be a few teams interested because Leake eats innings more consistently than just about every non-ace in the game. He’s not sexy, but he is a solid arm who is on pace to hit 2-2.5 bWAR this season.
Leake’s contract complicates things slightly, but perhaps not as much as many assume. Leake is still owed roughly $4 million for this season, $11 million next season, and has a $5 million buyout for 2021. With a total investment of $20 million for one year and 2 months, it’s not a tough pill for most teams to swallow. It sounds as though Seattle is willing to pay down his contract further, so a deal will likely get done in the coming weeks.
Seattle would be quite lucky to get a Juan Then type for Leake, but a contract swap could make sense in the right situation. Overall, the odds of Leake getting dealt are high, it is just tough to nail down the final destination.