Leake, Reds avoid arbitration with one-year deal

Leake, Reds avoid arbitration with one-year deal

CINCINNATI -- The Reds and starting pitcher Mike Leake avoided arbitration early Wednesday morning when the right-hander agreed to a one-year, $3.06 million contract.

Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Leake made $507,000 last season. He is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council. During the exchange of numbers last month, Leake filed for $3.5 million, and the Reds had offered $2.65 million.

Leake, 25, was 8-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 2012 as the Reds' fifth starter. He made a career-high 30 starts and threw 179 innings.

It was an inconsistent year though as Leake began last season 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA over his first six starts before turning things around to go 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA over the next 13 starts. He threw the first complete game of his career during a 5-1 win over the Giants on June 29.

The eighth overall Draft pick in 2009, Leake became only the 21st drafted player to bypass the Minors and go directly to the Major Leagues. In his three seasons since debuting in 2010, he is 28-22 with a 4.23 ERA in 83 games, including 78 starts.

Leake is entering the 2013 season with an uncertain role. The Reds have added a sixth starter to the mix as Aroldis Chapman is expected to move out of the closer's spot to be in the rotation. The club has not indicated what its are plans for Leake, especially if Chapman is under some sort of innings limit.

With Leake settled, the Reds have three arbitration players remaining in Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Shin-Soo Choo.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.