Acquired via trade, St. Louis Cardinals for Rayder Ascanio on August 30, 2017
Boy, did Jerry Dipoto really get one over on the Cardinals or what? Well, yes and no. Leake was an expensive piece for the Cardinals with plenty of young arms to take his place. But Dipoto got the Cardinals to cover a large sum of Leake’s contract and even got some international free agent money for good measure.
He also got 58 starts and 354.2 quality innings out of Mike Leake and 4.7 bWAR in just under 2 full-seasons. Leake was an absolute rock for the 2018 Mariners, making 31 starts and covering 185.2 innings of 4.13 FIP baseball.
Leake wasn’t especially dominant, but a solid, innings eating veteran who understands how to get batters out is always good to have. And when you consider what he gave up to give Leake, Jerry Dipoto deserves a tremendous amount of credit for this move.
Leake slides into the #2 spot on our rotation and gives a quality start machine to pair with Gonzales which, after you see our bullpen, is going to win us a lot of games in our imaginary scenario.
Mike Leake will always be an overlooked Dipoto move, but from a straight value standpoint, it will always be one of his best. For those reasons, Leake comes in as our #2 starting pitcher.