In 2016 Mike Leake had a career record of 64-52 with an ERA of 3.70. He consistently pitched about 180 innings a year. The Cardinals signed him to a 5 year $80 million contract.
In his first 2 years his ERA grew to 4.69 and 4.21. His record was 16-24. Despite these poor numbers the Seattle Mariners accepted him and the final three years of his contract.
The results did not improve as he was 19-18 with an ERA over 4.25 in the next two seasons. In the middle of his fourth season, the Mariners traded him to the Diamondbacks. Nothing changed.
In 2020, Leake opted not to play due to COVID. He has not pitched again in the Major Leagues.
While Leake wasn’t as embarrassment, pitching over 180 innings every year, his ERA moved up over 4.00 every season and he was consistently an average pitcher with a combined record of 41-46. Was this worth $16 million a year to the Cards, Mariners and Diamondbacks? Swing Badder voter get to decide.