The Mariners, needing starting pitching, with James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma all currently on the DL. Leake is a reliable starter, making at least 30 starts in every season since 2012, and is just four starts from hitting that mark this year. Also, his control makes him a worthy acquisition. The only problem is his contract. The M\’s will also acquire cash, but it\’s not going to be all of the $55 million he\’s owed over the next three years. He was having a good season, but a horrible August has weakened his numbers.
Leake, 29, has a 4.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 154 innings for the Cardinals this year. In his eight year MLB career for the Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds, Leake has a 4.02 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 958 strikeouts in 1414.1 innings.
The Cardinals are looking to get rid of some salary. Leake\’s high contract hurts his value, so they have to get a lesser prospect, and give up cash. Ascanio isn\’t the best hitter but is a good fielder.
Ascanio, 21, has a .217 batting average, nine homers, 44 RBIs and 12 steals in 450 Plate Appearances between Low-A, High-A and AAA. In his minor league career, Ascanio has a .240 batting average, 15 homers, 158 RBIs and 36 stolen bases in 1696 Plate Appearances.
I think the Mariners win this trade. They get a reliable MLB starter, plus cash, for a low leveled prospect, who struggles offensively. Even though they still will overpay Leake, it\’s a fair deal for them.