ARLINGTON, Tx. — The Giants finally found an upgrade for their rotation.
Reds right-hander Mike Leake was acquired for two minor leaguers, highly-touted right-hander Keury Mella and third baseman Adam Duvall. Leake, 27, is 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA this season. He has been one of the league’s best pitchers in July, going 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA in five starts.
The Giants have spent weeks searching for another top-of-the-rotation type to slot into the rotation, and they came up short on Cole Hamels and David Price. In Leake, they’re adding an athletic right-hander who they expect to thrive at AT&T Park. Leake has a 2.59 ERA in five career appearances in San Francisco and long has been a favorite of Giants executives and scouts.
Leake will be a free agent at the end of the season, but some in the organization have talked in the past of getting him in a Giants uniform and hoping he falls in love with the franchise and the city. A similar approach worked with Hunter Pence, who passed up a chance at free agency and instead signed a five-year deal with the Giants.
The move likely pushes Tim Hudson out of the rotation and could leave the Giants with a sticky roster situation. Hudson is not believed to be a fit for the bullpen, and the Giants already have two long relievers in Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit.
Mella, 21, was considered by many to be the top prospect in the Giants organization. He has a 3.31 ERA in 16 starts for High-A San Jose, with 83 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. Duvall is 26-year-old corner infielder who leads the Pacific Coast League with 26 homers. The Giants have never viewed him as a part of their future, with the belief being that Duvall can’t stick at third base defensively. He hit .192 in 73 big-league at-bats last season.