ST. LOUIS (KMOX/CARDINALS) – ST. LOUIS, MO, August 30, 2017 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired minor league shortstop Rayder Ascanio from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitcher Mike Leake and international cap space totaling $750,000 for the current international signing period.
Ascanio, 21, was signed by the Mariners as an international free agent in 2012 at age 16 and the slick fielding infielder has compiled a career batting mark of .240 with 15 HR’s and 158 RBI in 425 games at the minor league level.
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak spoke to media by conference call after the trade.
“We expect to compete,” Mozeliak says. “We are just going to do it with a different name and a different face – creating opportunity internally, and we are excited about those options. We are still in it and we expect to have success.”
The switch-hitting Ascanio, a native of Mariara, Venezuela, was batting .217 with 9 HR’s and 44 RBI in 111 games this season between Tacoma (AAA), Clinton (A) and Modesto (A). He is expected to be assigned to the Palm Beach Cardinals (A) roster.
Today’s trade will require an addition to the Cardinals 25-man active roster. That transaction is expected to be announced tomorrow.
Leake, 29, was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA in 26 starts for the Cardinals this season and has a career mark of 80- 76, 4.02 ERA in eight seasons with Cincinnati (2010-15), San Francisco (2015) and St. Louis (2016-17). He went 16-24 with a 4.46 ERA in his 56 starts for the Cardinals after signing as a free agent in December of 2015.
The Cardinals and Mariners announced a trade last month that sent power-hitting outfielder Tyler O’Neill (28 HR’s in 2017) to the Cardinals organization in exchange for left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales.
Leake was signed by St. Louis to five-year $80,000,000 deal prior to the 2016 season. He has $55 million left on his contract.
Leake’s month-by-month ERA has ballooned this season, from 1.35 in April to 8.88 in August. His 154 innings pitched this year are third among Cardinals players, trailing over Carlos Martinez and Lance Lynn.
In 56 games with St. Louis he was 16-24 with a 4.46 ERA.
Although the MLB trade deadline has passed, teams are still able to complete trades by way of the trade waiver.
Cards general manager Mike Girsch explained that process to KMOX last month:
So for the next few weeks most every team will put most every player through trade waivers. You may or may not hear about it on the radio or see it online. It means almost nothing players on trade waivers because almost every team puts almost every player through trade waivers.
If a player gets selected by a team then the team who has that player and the team who claimed the player, and it goes by order you know worst record the best, by league and whatnot, those two teams can make a trade if those who teams can’t reach a trade then the team who put the player on waivers can either just let him go to the other team or can pull him back and keep him. And once you’ve pulled him back then you can’t trade him for the rest of the month.
The St. Louis Cardinals have not yet confirmed the reports, first announced on Twitter by Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of MLB on Fox.
The Cardinals have an afternoon game in Milwaukee on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m., the pregame show begins on KMOX at 12:15 p.m.
Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez and Brewers righty Chase Anderson square off to close out a two-game series between NL Central playoff contenders. Martinez (10-9, 3.48 ERA) has won three straight decisions and is 4-1 in his past six starts. Anderson (7-3, 2.87) has allowed three runs over 10 innings in two starts since returning from a left oblique strain.