Originally Posted by Steve4192
Leake has already reached the level of a #3 starter. He was 29th in the NL in ERA+ in 2011, 36th in 2012, and would have ranked 36th in 2010 if he had enough innings to qualify. That puts him squarely in the ranks of #3 starters in the NL already and he hasn't even turned 25 yet. I don't think he's ever going to be a guy who can put up a monster 150 ERA+ season (Cy Young contender), but I think he can become a guy who is consistently over 100 ERA+ (quality #3 starter) with the occasional 120+ ERA season (quality #2, borderline #1).
As far as trading value to get value, Leake's value is at an all-time low. He's the last guy I would want to trade right now. I'd rather trade someone who is likely to bring a better return. Trading Leake right now doesn't bring much in return, and IMO he is way too good to be used as a throw in (as many of the proposed trades on RZ seem to do). If I were the Reds, I'd be busting my hump right now to sign him to a contract extension while his value is depressed.
I agree, Steve. And I would add that his hitting has provided hidden value. While it's not a skill you select pitchers for, the runs produced (or not produced) by pitchers at the plate and on the bases still count in the wins and loss columns. In his ~2.5 years worth of starts, Leake has produced 2.0 fWAR offensively.
Now, looking at his BABIP and his K:BB, it's quite possible (probably likely) that those numbers are a fluke and that he'll hit like a normal pitcher moving forward. But it should at least be part of the conversation.