With just 5 hours until the trade deadline, the Texas Rangers have been linked with Seattle Mariners starting pitcher, Mike Leake.
After making their first notable move of the trade deadline, sending reliever Chris Martin to the Atlanta Braves for pitching prospect Kolby Allard, the Texas Rangers are back in the pitching trade market, but this time as buyers. Ken Rosenthal tweeted out Wednesday morning that the Rangers were “in mix” for Mariners starter, Mike Leake.
If Leake sounds familiar, it’s probably because he just beat the Texas Rangers last night. The Mariners 31-year old right-hander went 5.2 innings last night allowing 10 hits and 5 runs. Not a dominant performance but perhaps it was enough for Texas to decide that Leake could be a long term option in the rotation. Leake, through 22 starts this season, has posted a 4.40 ERA and a 1.255 WHIP. His 2.0 bWAR is solid and is pretty in line with his 1.3 fWAR. Leake is not a dominant, strikeout amassing starter, with only 100 Ks in 137 innings. However, he is an innings eater that is under contract through next season with a mutual option for 2021.
Leake could help bolster the Rangers rotation and would give Texas a solid starting trio to build off of if they hold on to Mike Minor and Lance Lynn this year. To acquire the starter, it shouldn’t take anything too exorbitant considering he’s still got a considerable price tag next season. Whatever deal is hypothetically made should include some cash considerations to Texas to help offset Leake’s contract and is more of a salary dump on the Mariners part. Bob Nightengale of USA Today confirmed as much earlier.
A few weeks ago we did a GM Mode focused on a deal for Leake that included Texas parting with OF prospect Scott Heineman but I’m not sure it would even take that much at this point. If the Rangers can give up some low-level prospects, Leake could really give them a solid late-rotation option for next season and possibly 2021 at a fairly minimal cost.