Innings eaters have great value on any team, making Leake an attractive free agent target for several teams.
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays 4 years/64 million.
He’s not going to wow you with explosive stuff, but Mike Leake’s value cannot be understated. He doesn’t turn 28 until next week, has a low walk rate, fields his position well, and has posted three straight seasons of sub-4.00 ERA ball. His career FIP of 4.21 suggests he has been fortunate at times, but his ability to give teams length will be valuable (at least 179 IP in four consecutive seasons).
The Blue Jays are losing David Price, Marco Estrada, and Mark Buerhle to free agency and need to sign at least one starter to give them innings. Leake isn’t going dominate the opposition, but his ability to keep teams in games combined with the Blue Jays high powered offense makes sense for Toronto. Leake also doesn’t strike out many–Toronto was one of the better defensive clubs in the game last season which also makes sense for them. A four year contract will allow Leake to become a free agent again entering his age 32 season. His 16 million AAV shouldn’t cripple a heavy spending Blue Jay team too much.