Interest in Mike Leake appears to be heating up. A couple top tier pitchers are apparently not on the market. This is excellent news for the Reds.

The Detroit Tigers are interested in Mike Leake, according to Bob Nightengale (USA Today):

Walt Jocketty was able to complete a deal with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski in the offseason, sending Alfredo Simon to the Tigers for Eugenio Suarez and RHP Jonathan Crawford. The Tigers are a few games out of the second wild card slot in the American League.

The LA Dodgers have Mike Leake as a backup plan if they can’t land Cole Hamels, according to Jerry Crasnick (ESPN):

The Dodgers have the resources to land Hamels, but recent reports have put the Rangers in the lead for the Philly pitcher’s services. That can change any time, though. Even if the Dodgers do acquire Hamels, it might still make sense for them to pursue Leake.

Update: Throw a Canadian log on the fire. The Toronto Blue Jays are interested in Leake according to Jon Morosi (FOX, MLBN):

56 Responses

  1. UglyStrike

    I saw the Cody Reid kid last year when he was with the Legends in Lexington. He looked exactly like he is. A young player that is facing talent as good/better than he is for the first time. He was actually having to learn how to pitch instead of just throw. When on his pitches looked really good. (Sneaky movement for SO’s) IF he develops the mental side I think we will be pleasantly surprised.

  2. RFM

    The Tigers have one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Even their top two prospects (Steven Moya, Derek Hill) combined would probably be worse than draft pick compensation. In Suarez and Crawford the Reds probably already cleaned out that barren system of the prospects they wanted.

    The Tigers are making a terrible decision if they retain Price, Cespedes, and Soria. They’re risking of getting a total of a draft pick for the three of them, in what might be a losing season.

    • RFM

      And by ‘losing season’ I don’t mean missing the playoffs, I mean they need big improvements before they seem certain to even finish over .500.

  3. Matt WI

    Why would the Rangers be looking to add Hamels but dump Gallardo?

    • lwblogger2

      I was wondering that myself. My guess is that since they are out of it, they may want to add their ace for 2016. 2017, maybe beyond in Hamels, and get some value beyond a draft pick for Gallardo by trading him in his walk year.

      • RFM

        The Red Sox have talked about doing the same thing, acquiring Hamels for 2016 and beyond.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Hamels is an acquisition for 2016-18. Shopping Gallardo because he’s a free agent at the end of this year.

      • lwblogger2

        This is the time of year where I wish I was in an MLB front-office somewhere.

  4. George Mirones

    Over the weekend I heard the discussion of a trade, Chapman for Puig, straight up.
    Today I read on that Puig is available. I guess, because of my liking of Leake, would like to see him stay. With the 2016 season looking like all youngster’s till Bailey activated, Leake would be our only proved MLB starter. The stress on the bullpen during the early season of next year might end the season before May. The aforementioned Puig trade (5-6 years of control) could give the Reds enough money to put together an offer to keep Mikey. Last nights game and the “1 pitch thought ” maybe the 2016 season theme early on. If the kids get through next year and 3 of them “get it” then 2017 looks better.
    Just a random thought.

    • Tom Gray

      I read somewhere that Leake wants to play in Calif (as a native of that state).

      Pending some big earthquake that puts Cincinnati into the Golden State, I doubt he stays a Red very much longer.

      • George Mirones

        I read that also but geesh!, a guy can wish. I still like the Puig trade idea.

      • RiverCity Redleg

        Homer also said he wanted to play in Texas and he still signed. Point being, players will play on the moon if they get paid.

    • lwblogger2

      That’s strange because apparently the Dodgers told Puig flat out that he won’t be traded. This was last week I think… I don’t know if I want Puig. I’m sort of old-school in my clubhouse approach and Puig has been known to be a little difficult in that department. I also don’t know how he’d do in boring ol’ Cincinnati. Plus, one of the appeals for him may be playing with fellow Cuban-born players and one of them would be going in that deal (Chapman) and another would probably be going after the season or even could be traded before the deadline (Pena)… Neat idea but don’t see it happening and honestly, not sure I want to.

      • Carl Sayre

        I have seen more than a few comments speculating about Pena’ moving. I like his play he does an above average job behind the plate was willing last year to put in the time at first to try and help the team. He is a professional hitter he just doesn’t have any power. I don’t see any team out there giving up a player worth having to get him.

      • lwblogger2

        He’s a nice little catcher and would probably be a 2nd catcher for any team getting him. You’re right though, there wouldn’t be much return. The Reds might get a C+ kind of prospect for him which usually will turn out to be minor league filler.

    • Reds Fan

      Chapman for Puig straight up is a good idea. The Dodgers need bullpen help to make a run in 2015, what is better than adding a premier closer who can shine. The Reds need a controlled outfielder. Marlon Byrd’s contract is up after this season and seeing to as the Reds gave up a top pitching prospect for what he has brought to the table the Reds could trade him opening a spot up for Puig, and letting their young pitching prospects with an excellent development fill Chapman’s role to try and make a run in 2017. As like you said maybe resign Leake to be a veteran presence next to Bailey for the young pitchers.

      • vegastypo

        I think talk of Puig getting traded is much ado about nothing. I heard it expressed this way the other day: “If a team asks the Dodgers about Puig, and the Dodgers laugh in the other team’s face, does that mean there were still ‘trade talks?’ ”

        For a team as conscious about clubhouse chemistry as the Reds have seemed to be (Rolen, Grit, etc.), I don’t see them trading for Puig anyway.

  5. lwblogger2

    Looks like Zobrist is moving. He’s joining Cueto in KC for 2 of KC’s pitching prospects. That’s 5 pitchers the Royals organization have dealt if the news proves valid.

      • lwblogger2

        These are the kinds of moves that a lot of fans wanted to see Walt make in 2013 but Walt didn’t want to mortgage any more of the future. Makes you wonder if things would have been different had he gotten the kinds of guys the Royals just did?

      • WVRedlegs

        I want to cry when I think about late July 2012 and 2013. Jocketty twiddling his thumbs and refusing to get a sorely needed bat to improve the team.
        Would’ve, could’ve, and should’ves.

      • ManuelT

        Yes, it would have been worth it to increase our chances.

  6. Redleg 68

    I still think the Blue Jays are in play for Leake. They need someone to eat innings up there.

    • greenmtred

      And, best of all, Toronto is in California!!…oh, wait…

  7. WVRedlegs

    Toronto is re-engaging the Reds about Leake after striking out on Cueto and adding Tulo. That would be nice if it brought back another lefthander in Daniel Norris.
    Norris is a bit quirky and would add some personality for those worried about losing some with Cueto’s trade. He lives in a VW van.
    “Despite his $2 million signing bonus, Norris lives off just $800 a month. In an interview with ESPN he was asked why he chooses to continue to live so conservatively. He asked back, “Who am I to deserve that? What have I really done?” He has also said, “I’m actually more comfortable being kind of poor,” as it helps him maintain a minimalist lifestyle and resist conformity.”
    Can’t help but think of Chris Farley, “livin’ in a van, down by the river.”

    • Redleg 68

      Sounds a little like that guy we had that talked to his imaginary friend and played the game hard every day.

      • reaganspad

        You mean Farney?

        LH’s are known to be a bit unique; Carlton, Koufax, Chapman, Randy Meyers, Norm Charlton, Chapman

        I find it refreshing unless they refuse to start

    • Grant Freking

      Toronto isn’t giving up their No. 1 prospect for 11 or so starts from Leake.

      • WVRedlegs

        It doesn’t have to be Norris. If it isn’t going to be Stroman, Sanchez or Norris, then Drew Hutchinson might be nice. Pompey is OK. They also have a nice SS prospect they probably don’t have much of a need for now.

      • lwblogger2

        They actually have 2 nice SS prospects, one who’s close to ready. I was kind of surprised by the move to get Tulo.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Sounds like a smart guy. Even the snipes on this post are totally unwarranted for a person who appears to be well grounded. Call it quirky this is a guy not motivated by money.

  8. Jeremy Conley

    Man, the Royals just got Zobrist from the A’s. They have to be WS frontrunners at this point.

  9. Brian

    it doesn’t make sense to me that: 1) the reds even so close to a deal let Cueto start the other night and throw 8 innings, seems crazy to me with the always threat of potential injury. 2) the fact that as of now leake is still starting tonights game whereas the phillies are saying Hamels will NOT start Thursday so as he doesn’t get hurt but he can also start for the team that trades for him immediately. seems to me like the reds aren’t really taking precautions on their trade assetts. maybe i’m jumping the gun but seems odd to me.

    • big5ed

      I am not convinced that they will move Leake. He is deemed in some quarters to be a #3 starter/rental, and he may not bring much. If the Reds keep him, then they would either get a supplemental pick in the draft, or else Leake will accept the “qualifying offer” and be the wizened leader of next year’s corps of youth.

      It just depends on whether they think the return for Leake (and what they don’t have to pay him in salary) is worth more than a supplemental pick. He will likely be traded, but it isn’t necessarily a given.

      • Matt WI

        I was starting to think the same thing. The urgency isn’t anywhere near the same as it was with Cueto. If the return offers are middling, they may well just be willing to wait out the supplemental pick.

        Now, a Leake/Chapman combo would be interesting.

      • Redleg 68

        Very interesting indeed.
        Love to have some combo of Norris/Sanchez/Pompoy from the Blue Jays. They also have a hard throwing 98-99 righty named Castro who could fill Chapman”s role.

  10. sezwhom

    Keep an eye and ear on Leake or Chapman to SF Giants. Reds and GM Brian Sabean don’t have much of a history but G-men on fire now and adding either would be huge for them. Leake pitching in AT&T is made to order.

    • vegastypo

      The Giants promoted Sabean to executive vice president of baseball operations and made his former assistant, Bobby Evans, the GM. It will be interesting to see whether Evans is as aggressive as Sabean was. … I could easily see Leake going to the Giants.

  11. RedAlert

    Reds needs some bats in return in some of these trades – I know the mantra about never having enough pitching , but the hitting waiting in the wings ain’t exactly setting he world on fire in this organization –

  12. lwblogger2

    After Leake’s performance last night, I’d be calling the folks who’ve made the best offers and who’s I’ve countered and be asking them “Are you sure you don’t want to give up as part of a deal for Leake? He could have pitched that gem for you last night. What can you do to sweeten this thing some so we can get this done?”

  13. lwblogger2

    “give up (insert prospect name)” is how that should read. I used the standard notation for a place-holder and I think the blogging software thought I was trying to insert HTML so stripped it; as it should.

  14. tgarretson82

    Goodbye, Leake to Dodgers. That door has closed. They just traded with MIA for Latos and Morse. Three Dodgers prospects to MIA. No word on who just yet.

    • Shchi Cossack

      That wasn’t a trade. That was an outright buy. MLB commisioners used to absolutely veto such moves to prevent exactly what the LA Dodgers are doing to obtain players without giving up players. I gues any pretense of competative balance has been thrown out the penthouse window. That’s not good for anyone except 3-4 teams with virtually unliited fonancial resources and certainly not good for the game or the game’s future.

      • tgarretson82

        Agreed! Must be nice to have unlimited financial resources to pick up guys like Morse that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED!

    • Carl Sayre

      There seems to be some problem with that deal it still isn’t final. The Dodgers acted like they might be in the market for two starters. I have know Idea if they have any trade value left, it didn’t seem to me they gave up much in the Latos deal even if it gets done.Would the Reds be better to give Leake the qualifying offer to get the pick or maybe overpay for a one year extension witha players option for a second? These youngsters have impressed me but there will still be growing pains a seasoned major league pitcher to anchor the staff appeals to me.

  15. WVRedlegs

    The Astros are back in the Leake sweepstakes. The Reds can get some offense from Houston.
    OF Brett Phillips or 1B AJ Reed.

    • Hotto4Votto

      If the Reds don’t get offense back for Leake (or Chapman if traded) then they should just keep him and take the comp pick. That way they could draft a hitter. There has been one hitting prospect traded between the Cueto, Latos, Kazmir, Zobrist, and Tulo trades. And that was for a High-A catcher that has only come into prospect status as of this season.

      I like all three arms the Reds got back for Cueto, but am not thrilled with the imbalance of prospects in the Reds system between hitters and pitchers. If more P’s are the only prospects being offered back. Forget it.

      • Jeremy Conley

        I agree that it would be nice to get some offensive prospects back to balance the farm system more, but realistically if the Reds are going to try to compete in 2016 or 2017, they don’t have a lot of open positions.

        Votto, Bruce, Frazier, Mesoraco, Cozart, Suarez, Hamilton, and Phillips could all still be around unless they get traded. Then you have Winker, Waldrop, Yorman, and Duran all coming up as outfield prospects.

        Of course we could improve, or get cheaper, but there aren’t a lot of holes to fill.

        On the other hand, we have a terrible bullpen, and a rotation that now features 4 rookies and Mike Leake, and he’s probably pitched his last game as a Red. At this point, stocking up on pitchers doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

      • Hotto4Votto

        The Reds have stockpiled young pitching. Stephenson, Garrett, Travieso, Romano, Reed, Lamb, Finnegan, Strahan, Antone, Crawford, Howard, Armstrong and Mahle to go with those getting their feet wet this year (Disco, Moscot, Lorenzen, and Iglesias). That’s 17 starting pitchers (16 if you don’t want to count Howard, which I wouldn’t personally). We need more? That’s not counting guys in rookie ball or other guys having good years like Adelman, Astin etc.

        Meanwhile CF and 2B are below average spots in the current line up, and C may be if Mes can’t return effectively.

  16. WVRedlegs

    Toronto DFA’d a starting pitcher, LH Felix Doubront, to make room for Tulo. They only have 4 starters on their 25 man roster now and will need a starter for Sunday. Mike Leake’s next scheduled start is Sunday.

    • charlottencredsfan

      I was thinking Toronto, Baltimore, or SF now that LA picked up Latos. Even the Cubs can’t be ruled out, although they say “no rentals”.

  17. Michael E

    This SUCKS. Walt is sitting on a sub .500 talent base and not making trades to improve quicker. If we don’t trade Leake, Parra, Byrd and either Bruce or Phillips by tomorrow, this trade deadline will be a failure and we’ll have no real shot at contending for years with high payroll and lots of mediocre players.

    I see all these quality prospects move and the Reds sit, pissing away a chance at a lightning quick rebuild. Thanks a lot Walt, Bob and all you Reds fans that whined against any trades. Now we’ll get what you wanted…a yawn of a team out of it by all-star break the next 3 years and little chance to improve due to lack of hitting prospects in particular.