The curious case of Mike Leake’s market continues. The Giants acquired Leake in a midseason trade with the Cincinnati Reds. After the organization surprisingly decided to not offer Leake a contract extension, something he was interested in, GM Brian Sabean ended up pursuing and signing both Cueto and Samardzija. As of this moment, Leake still remains one of the top free agent starting pitchers available on the market, and is probably continuing to seek a five-year contract.
Will he get it, though? It was reported that Leake was interested and willing to sign with the Diamondbacks on a hometown discount, but the D-Backs have moved on from that idea after signing Greinke and acquiring Shelby Miller in a trade with the Atlanta Braves.
The 28-year-old is probably the most reliable innings-eater left on the market, too. Over the last three seasons, he’s accumulated 192, 214 and 192 total innings pitched and his ERA has never been higher than 3.70. It’s debatable if the right-hander is anything more than solid No. 3 starter, but there is no doubt that he would slot in nicely behind Kershaw and Iwakuma in the Dodgers rotation and give them somebody reliable who can stay healthy and take the ball every fifth day.
At this point, the big fish have already been reeled in, and the Dodgers are looking for second-tier players to help fill roles. Leake’s upside presents a situation where he is just entering his prime, and can pitch close to 200 innings. What he does in those 180-210 innings, if healthy, is connected to how the Dodgers offense improves upon last season (if the Dodgers keep Yasieul Puig who has been involved in trade rumors, they’ll most likely score more runs). Signing Leake away from the Giants wouldn’t be enough to answer the Cueto/Shark tandem, but it would help alleviate some pressure in LA, for sure.