PHOENIX (AP) — Mike Leake heard he was going to be traded to Arizona earlier in the season and his name came up again at the trade deadline.
Now the right-hander doesn’t have to worry about rumors anymore. He’s headed back to the desert, where he played collegiately.
The Diamondbacks acquired Leake for minor league infielder Jose Caballero at the trade deadline Wednesday. Arizona agreed to pay Seattle nearly $19 million to cover most of the just over $25 million Leake is owed in his $80 million, five-year contract, which runs through 2020.
“I didn’t really know until about 15 minutes before the deadline,” Leake said before the Mariners played at Texas. “It came back up through the grapevine I guess, once they were able to get rid of Greinke, I guess it opened some things back up.”
The 31-year-old Leake went 9-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 22 starts with the Mariners this season. The right-hander has played 10 big league seasons, with stops in Cincinnati, San Francisco and St. Louis.
Leake was traded to Seattle from St. Louis for Rayder Ascanio in 2017.
“Obviously, Mike’s about as durable as they come,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He takes the ball and he’s been on a really good run here of late. So it’s an opportunity for him to go back to Arizona — that’s where he resides in the offseason — going back home, it’s good for him and his family.”
Leake played three seasons at Arizona State and was selected with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2009 amateur draft by Cincinnati.
He’s back home and doesn’t have to worry about where he might end up next.
“It’s kind of you get fuzzy in the mind a little bit, he said. “You don’t know if you’re going to go anywhere or not. You’re told you’re maybe going to go some places and then it doesn’t happen. Other than that you’ve still got to throw the ball and try to throw nine innings every time.”