The Cardinals have agreed to sign right-hander Mike Leake to a five-year contract, according to multiple industry sources. The deal, which is pending a physical, will be for $80 million and includes a mutual option for a sixth season, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Leake's deal can max out at $93-94 million over six seasons if the option is exercised, according to a source. It also includes a full no-trade clause.
Leake has drawn strong interest from many teams, including the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Astros and Giants, though MLB Daily Dish reported late Monday night that St. Louis was emerging as a strong contender. The Cardinals will add the right-hander after losing out on top free agents David Price and Jason Heyward, and will likely make a significant financial commitment to secure the 28-year old.
Leake joins a strong Cardinals' rotation that already includes Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia for next season. Right-hander Lance Lynn will miss the entire season due to Tommy John surgery, opening up a spot for the Cardinals to pursue a top free agent like Leake.
Leake is the latest major free-agent starter to sign, joining Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann and Johnny Cueto, who already signed multi-year deals with clubs this winter. St. Louis has been in the market for high-end rotation help, being linked to Price, Cueto and other available options.
Leake has spent six years in the majors with the Reds (2010-2014) and Giants (2015), posting a lifetime 64-52 record and 3.88 ERA in that span. He was 11-10 with a 3.70 ERA with both Cincinnati and San Francisco last season.