Sep 25, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Mike Leake (13) throws to the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA
Word got out at the end of the season that Arizona was interested in the soon-to-be 28-year old right-hander. Leake has made 30 or more starts over the last four seasons. He owns a lifetime mark of 64-52 and a 3.88 ERA pitching mostly in a big time hitters’ park in Cincinnati. His best year was 2013 in which he went 14-7 with a 3.37 ERA for the Wild Card Reds.
Coming to Arizona would be a homecoming of sorts for Leake as he went to Arizona State. In his Junior year with the Sun Devils, he was named one of the five finalists for the 2009 College Pitcher of the Year, an award that was eventually given to Stephen Strasburg. Competition for his services will also come from the San Francisco Giants, with whom he finished the 2015 season. There should also be other teams in the mix for a guy who hasn’t missed a start in five years.
Let’s be clear: Leake is not an ace. Nor does he alone solve the D-backs’ rotation issues. However, he is a dependable arm that is now in the prime of his career. Signing him would represent a significant upgrade over most of the arms the Snakes trotted out in 2015. It also means that there may be room in the budget for another starter of his caliber.
Next: Wei-Yin Chen