The St. Louis Cardinals announced Wednesday they have acquired minor-league shortstop Rayder Ascanio from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitcher Mike Leake.
The Cardinals will also receive international cap space totaling $750,000 for the current international signing period.
Ascanio, 21, was signed by the Mariners as an international free agent in 2012 at age 16, and the slick-fielding infielder has compiled a career batting mark of .240 with 15 home runs and 158s RBI in 425 games at the minor-league level.
The switch-hitting Ascanio, a native of Mariara, Venezuela, was batting .217 with nine home runs and 44 RBIs in 111 games this season between Tacoma (AAA), Clinton (A) and Modesto (A). He is expected to be assigned to the high-Class A Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League.
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The trade will require an addition to the Cardinals’ 25-man active roster. That transaction is expected to be announced Thursday.
Leake, 29, was 7-12 with a 4.21 ERA in 26 starts for the Cardinals this season and has a career mark of 80-76, 4.02 ERA in eight seasons with Cincinnati (2010-15), San Francisco (2015) and St. Louis (2016-17).
In the first half of this season, Leake was 6-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 109 innings. Since the All-Star break, he is 1-5 with a 6.90 ERA.
He is in the second season of a five-year contract that will pay him $75 million, not including a sixth-year mutual option that would pay him $18 million.
Leake went 16-24 with a 4.46 ERA in his 56 starts for the Cardinals after he signed with the team as a free agent in December 2015.
The Cardinals and Mariners announced a trade in July that sent power-hitting outfielder Tyler O’Neill (28 HRs in 2017) to the Cardinals for left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales.