The Giants have strengthened their starting rotation this evening, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the defending World Series champions have agreed to a deal to acquire right-hander Mike Leake from the Reds.
Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com confirms that the Reds will get two minor leaguers in return, including prospect right-hander Keury Mella. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi adds that infielder-outfielder Adam Duvall is the other piece in the deal.
Leake, an impending free agent, has a 3.56 ERA and 90/34 K/BB ratio in 136 2/3 innings over 21 starts this season. The 27-year-old has been especially effective of late, allowing just two runs in 30 innings across his last four outings. He owns a 3.43 ERA on the road during his career compared to a 4.31 ERA at home, so switching from Great American Ball Park to the pitcher-friendly AT&T Park should be good for him. And since he has now been traded during the season, he won’t have to worry about a qualifying offer in free agency this winter.
The only real question here is how the Giants intend to play things, as they now have more starters than rotation spots. Tim Hudson, who has a 4.80 ERA in 17 starts this season, is a possibility to be bumped.
The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.
Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.
Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.
Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.