Mariners acquire RHP Leake from Cardinals

Beth Cruz
August 31, 2017

The money in return from the Cardinals, reported to be $3 million a season, was key for the deal since Leake is still owed plenty on the five-year free agent contract, which features a full no-trade clause, that he signed with St. Louis before the 2016 season. Essentially, the Mariners pick up the 3 years Leake has left and will be on the hook for $36 million.

Since his major league debut season in 2010, Leake's 228 starts are the second most in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (233).

The Mariners are desperate for help with starters Felix Hernandez, James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma now on the disabled list.

St. Louis will send the Mariners $2.5 million on September 30, $3 million each on July 1 and September 30 next year, $2.5 million each on those dates in 2019 and $2 million each on those dates in 2020.

The Leake acquisition is the second big trade the Mariners have made since the non-waiver trade deadline passed on July 31, the other being to get first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Oakland A's. Seattle has had just 16 starts of at least six innings in 43 games since the All-Star break.

Leake, 29, is 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA this season.

The move clearly shows that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is going "all in" on making the postseason this year, but also that the team may be showing some desperation in going after a pitcher no other team wanted. "As one of the most durable starters over most of the last decade, he'll be a valuable addition for not just the near future, but for seasons to come". He began the season going 6-6 with a 2.97 ERA in his first 16 starts, before going 1-6 with a 6.94 ERA over his last 10.

Ascanio was signed by the Mariners as an global free agent in 2012 at age 16. The deal runs through 2020 with a mutual option for 2021 and a $5 million buyout.

Ascanio, 21, split time this season between Class A Clinton and A Modesto with a brief stint at Triple-A Tacoma.

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