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Mets: Five under the radar pitching free agent candidates to consider

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Keone Kela #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after a 9-2 win over the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 24, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Keone Kela #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after a 9-2 win over the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 24, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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Sep 18, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Leake

Mike Leake is one of those pitchers that has had a quiet, not so flashy yet steady major league career. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2009 MLB amateur draft and within a year was impressively moved to the big show. Leake has rarely posted any big strikeout numbers throughout his ten year Major League career as he is averaging a little over 5.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

However, he rarely walks hitters either, averaging giving up under 2 walks per nine innings pitched. He is basically a pitcher that induces a healthy ground ball contact rate and whenever the ball is hit in the air off of him, rarely does it go out for any home runs. Leake opted out of the 2020 season due to covid-19 and has kept his name out of the free agent spotlight as a result.

He has proven to be a solid low-end number three or four rotation option on average ball clubs and is durable too, averaging about 183 innings pitched per season in his career. Should Marcus Stroman accept the Mets $18.9 million qualifying offer, I think Mike Leake would be best suited as a #6 rotational depth starter for the Mets in 2021. We all know injuries are inevitable for all ball clubs through the course of a 162 game schedule, and Leake’s consistency and reliability would definitely be a plus through the rigors of a full season to keep the Mets competitive.

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