The Cardinals and free agent right-hander Mike Leake have agreed to a five-year contract with a sixth year mututal option, the team announced. CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed the agreement is worth $80 million and includes a no-trade clause.
Earlier this offseason the Cardinals lost John Lackey. Leake will join Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia in the St. Louis rotation next year.
Wainwright (Achilles), Martinez (shoulder) and Garcia (shoulder) all missed time with injury in 2015 while Wacha wore down late in the season. The signing pushes youngsters like Tyler Lyons, Tim Cooney and Marco Gonzales either into the bullpen or back to Triple-A for depth.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak recently said the team will not make a "dynamic signing" this offseason, though they clearly have money to spend. They were the runners-up for David Price and also made a substantial offer to Jason Heyward. The Cardinals might not be done after signing Leake, with an outfielder the likely next target.
Leake, 28, was 11-10 with a 3.70 ERA (106 OPS+), 1.16 WHIP and 119 strikeouts in 192 innings for the Reds and Giants last season. The right hander has been pretty durable, only hitting the DL for minor injuries twice in his career. He's topped 190 innings in each of the past three seasons.
>>Mets Sign Former-Sox OF de Aza
The Mets have agreed to sign outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a one-year contract, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. The deal is worth $5.75 million with another $1.25 million in incentives. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.
De Aza, 31, will share center field duties with Juan Lagares, according to Heyman. De Aza is a left-handed hitter and Lagares is a right-handed hitter, so they're natural platoon mates. Lagares is a far superior defender, however.
In 90 games in 2015, De Aza hit .261/.319/.436 (102 OPS+) overall and .278/.351/.448 (121 OPs+) against righties. He played with three teams this past season, going from the Orioles to the Red Sox to the Giants in minor trades.
De Aza and Lagares will be flanked by Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto in the outfield. It has been unlikely the Mets would re-sign Yoenis Cespedes all offseason, and De Aza's addition all but confirms it.