The Mariners, missing starters James Paxton and Felix Hernandez and mired in a four-game losing streak, went to the well again by acquiring a starter from the Cardinals for the second time in about a month.
Seattle on Wednesday acquired slumping righthander Mike Leake, along with cash and an international bonus slot, from St. Louis for 22-year-old shortstop Rayder Ascanio.
Leake, 29, is 0-4, 8.31 in his past six starts and is under contract for three more years for $48 million, with an option for $18 million in 2021 with a $5 million buyout.
"Mike gives us an experienced starter that will help us as we navigate our way towards a playoff spot this season," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a release. "As one of the most durable starters over most of the last decade, he'll be a valuable addition for not just the near future, but for seasons to come."
On July 21, the Mariners acquired Gonzaga alum Marco Gonzales for No. 3 prospect Tyler O’Neill, but the lefthander is just 0-1, 7.41 in five starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
Rayder Ascanio, ss
Ascanio signed out of Venezuela in 2012, the same international signing period during which the Mariners signed Luiz Gohara, Luis Liberato and Kevin Gadea, among others. The wiry Ascanio showed flashes with the bat in 2017, hitting nine homers combined between low Class A and high Class A—he’d hit a total of six his first four pro seasons—but he ultimately remains a glove-first shortstop with a bat too light to be a regular. Ascanio is a plus defender with an above-average arm who can make all the throws from short and has soft hands. He’s an average runner, but his base-stealing ability plays down because of extremely poor acumen on the bases. He projects at best as a utilityman who can fill in the majors from time to time but largely shuttles to the minors and back based on need.
Mike Leake, rhp
The Cardinals gave Leake the fourth-largest contract in franchise history two years ago but offloaded him after he went 16-24, 4.46 in two seasons. After going 6-7, 3.12 in his first 17 starts, Leake has cratered. He’s 1-5, 6.90 since the all-star break, and has been particularly bad in August, going 0-3, 8.88 in five starts this month, with 42 hits allowed in just 25.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .375 off of him this month.