The St. Louis Cardinals have sent starting pitcher Mike Leake to the Seattle Mariners for minor-league infielder Rayder Ascanio.
The 29-year-old Leake, who signed a five-year deal with St. Louis before the 2016 season, waived the no-trade clause in his contract.
He was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA this season, but lost 10 of his previous 12 decisions after getting off to a 5-2 start.
Leake was scheduled to pitch at San Francisco on Friday, but it appears the Cardinals will bring up a prospect from Triple-A Memphis to take his place.
>>Cardinals SP Lynn Not Pleased With Front Office
The Cardinals on Wednesday completed a surprise trade with the Mariners that, most notably, sends veteran right-hander Mike Leake to Seattle in year two of the five-year, $80 million contract he signed with St. Louis.
While the Cardinals have on balance been a pretty middling team in 2017, they're still alive in the NL Central and in the race for one of the two NL wild card spots.
As such, trading away a near-term asset like Leake probably isn't hugely popular with the veterans on the team.
One of those veterans is right-hander Lance Lynn.
The Cardinals will save a good bit of cash in shipping off Leake (they're reportedly kicking in $17 million of the roughly $55 million that Leake is still owed), and that's led to some speculation regarding that newfound payroll flexibility.
Via Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, here are Lynn's pointed comments about a possible extension with the Cards:
ou can't say that. There's been no talks. There's been zero communication, whatsoever.
"I'm sure whenever the time comes — when the World Series is over and five days after, I'm sure somebody will talk to me. I just don't know who it is. They've had a whole season. Five days isn't going to matter.
"But I just work here."
Lynn in his walk year -- which is also his comeback campaign from Tommy John surgery -- has pitched to a 3.14 ERA/136 ERA+ and 2.16 K/BB ratio in an NL-leading 27 starts.
For his career, the 30-year-old owns an ERA+ of 116 across parts of six big-league seasons. Given Lynn's track record, his strong 2017 numbers, and the heated market for starting pitching each winter, he may be headed for a nine-figure payday.