Cleat Geeks

Into The Cardinal Nest: Is Leake Worth $80 Million?

mike-leakeasaCardinalTime and time again since their incredible 100 plus win season, the Cardinals have been missing out on major deals in the off-season Every time they’ve set their eyes on someone big; another team comes along and outbids them. The biggest blows to the team came when they lost pitcher, John Lackey and outfielder Jason Heyward to their division rivals, the Chicago Cubs.

With nearly all the big name hitters signed to other teams, Lance Lynn injured, and the team desperately trying to salvage their off-season, Cardinal GM John Mozeliak decided to focus his efforts on finding someone to take Lynn’s place in the pitching rotation and not going after a big bat. This decision has been unpopular with Cardinal fans who were hoping for a big name to join the roster since Heyward left. However, Mozeliak probably knew that if he kept going after big names, another team would sweep in with a bigger better deal.  He knew he needed to make a move so he decided to reinforce the pitching, which has been a strong point in the Cardinal roster for many seasons.

mike-leake-reds-spring-training-facility-mlb-cincinnati-reds-photo-day-850x560The Cardinals quickly signed former San Francisco Giant and Cincinnati Red, Mike Leake, to a 5 yr. /$80 mil dollar deal on Tuesday. Whether he’s worth $80 million is debatable in the minds of many Cards fans but there is a real big reason signing Leake is worth it in the long run. During the season in 2015, Leake garnered a 3.70 overall ERA which is pretty good but it isn’t great on its’ own. However, there are a few teams that he has had major success against and the Cards could really benefit from this deal in a major way because of it

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the Cards’ most persistent rivals in the NL Central. Leake has had good numbers against them. He had a 2.03 ERA against them in 2015 overall while holding them to a measly 1.29 at PNC Park. The Cubs are also a team that he has great success against. He managed a 2.69 ERA against the Cubs overall. However, his luck is not as good at Wrigley as he had a 3.71 ERA. Lynn was not nearly as reliable against the same teams last year, managing a 4.86 ERA overall ERA against Pittsburgh and a horrible 7.64 ERA against the Cubs. The Cards could use the kind of performance Leake is capable of putting on against run happy teams like Pittsburgh and Chicago. In that respect, this deal could certainly help the Cardinals out while Lynn takes some time to recuperate from his injuries.

mikeLeakebattingLeake may not the be the ace that many Cardinal fans have hoped they would get. He is most certainly not Jason Heyward. All things considered, he may play one of the biggest parts in  helping the Cardinals shock the Pirates and Cubs to  keep the division title for yet another year as long as he carries those strong numbers from  last year and the rest of the team does their part. In a division where the Pirates and Cubs are nipping at your heels at every turn, having a pitcher like Mike Leake on your  team is definitely worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

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