Mariners Trade for Cardinals Pitcher Mike Leake

Pham's homer in ninth gives St. Louis win over Tampa Bay

Leake will immediately join the starting rotation for the Mariners and could be a huge improvement for the staff.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Mike Leake walks in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 14, 2017.

The money in return from the Cardinals, reported to be $3 million a season, was key for the deal since Leake is still owed plenty on the five-year free agent contract, which features a full no-trade clause, that he signed with St. Louis before the 2016 season. Sixteen different pitchers have started games for Seattle this season.

"Mike gives us an experienced starter that will help us as we navigate our way towards a playoff spot this season", Mariners president and general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement.

Leake, 29, was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA over 154 innings with 103 strikeouts in 26 starts for St. Louis this season.

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Leake has been one of the most durable starters in the National League but has not been at his best since the All-Star break.

The Mariners entered Wednesday three games out of the final AL wild-card spot. There is also a mutual option in play for the 2022 season which would earn Leake a $5 million buyout if the Mariners made a decision to cut ties with the veteran starting pitcher. Since 2010 he's made the second-most starts in the NL. Leake started 2017 red-hot, with a 2.24 ERA after 10 starts.

Ascanio, 21, was signed by the Mariners as an global free agent in 2012 at age 16, and the slick-fielding infielder has compiled a career batting mark of.240 with 15 home runs and 158s RBI in 425 games at the minor-league level.

He is in the second season of a five-year contract that will pay him $75 million, not including a sixth-year mutual option that would pay him $18 million. The switch-hitting Ascanio, a native of Mariara, Venezuela, has compiled a career batting mark of.240 with 15 homers and 158 RBIs in 425 games at the minor league level.

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