Drew Silva

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Cardinals are “looking closely” at Mike Leake, Diamondbacks said to have advantage

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Mike Leake may be the next domino to fall on the starting pitching market.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Cardinals are “looking closely” at the free agent right-hander ahead of this week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. There’s also said to be mutual interest between Leake and the Diamondbacks, who just signed Zack Greinke to a massive six-year, $206 million deal.

Leake makes his offseason home in Arizona and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says that could give the D’Backs an edge if the money is close.

Returning to San Francisco remains another option for Leake, though Jeff Samardzija‘s $90 million contract probably makes that a little more unlikely. That team still wants to add a bat.

Leake, 28, posted a solid 3.70 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 119/49 K/BB ratio in 192 innings (30 starts) this summer between the Giants and Reds. He owns a 3.59 ERA (105 ERA+) in 598 2/3 innings since the beginning of the 2013 season.