In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at possible free-agent and trade targets for the Texas Rangers this winter.
Target: Mike Leake, RHP
2014 stats: 11-13, 3.70 ERA, 164 strikeouts, 50 walks, 214 1/3 innings pitched
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Leake is one of several Cincinnati Reds pitchers said to be available on the trade market this winter, and he's probably the most under-the-radar one of the bunch, but not for a lack of effectiveness. The 27-year-old righty has one year of club control as a third-year arbitration eligible player, meaning he can be had at a fair rate for the 2015 season before hitting free agency next winter.
With the Rangers' situation, however, that might be all they need with the hope that Martin Perez will be back from Tommy John surgery sometime around July and then likely back to full strength for the start of the 2016 season. Leake is nothing spectacular, but would serve as a good No. 3 starter after his 200-plus inning season and two straight years of ERAs in the 3.00s.
He could likely be hard for a pretty low price in return given the fact he'll be able to walk in free agency in a year, so he could be a nice fit for the Rangers this winter.