Mike Leake might not be the flashiest starting pitcher on the 2016 free agent market, especially with the likes of Jordan Zimmermann, David Price, and Zack Grienke out there, but he might be the one that provides the biggest, most unheralded impact.
The Giants, who traded for Leake from the Reds over the summer, have already reportedly shown interest in Leake's services for 2016 and beyond. Today, however, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Diamondbacks will also show interest in the right-hander when he becomes a free agent this fall.
Leake was acquired midway through the season to try and give the Giants a playoff push. That has since been spoiled; the Dodgers won the National League West and the Giants could not catch either the Pirates or the Cubs in the Wild Card race.
Regardless, the 27-year-old Leake has been a solid addition, going 2-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 55 1/3 innings pitched, posting a 29 to 13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On the year in full, Leake's turned in his third consecutive sub-4.00 ERA season, working to a 3.70 ERA over 192 innings with the Reds and Giants.
For Leake, what you see is what you get. He's going to throw 180 to 200 innings and give you solid results. That's what makes his next contract a hard one to truly pinpoint. Considering his age, it wouldn't be hard to see Leake sign a contract in the James Shields four-year, $75 million range.
The Diamondbacks represent an interesting suitor for Leake. The team has a youthful and somewhat inexperienced rotation featuring Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, and Rubby De La Rosa, among others. Adding Leake would represent an experienced veteran to help lead the staff into the future as the team starts to build itself back to contention.