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Seattle Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto has made his second trade in as many days by acquiring St. Louis’ starting pitcher Marco Gonzales for Tacoma outfielder Tyler O’Neil.
While Gonzalez is not the starting pitcher Mariners fans were expecting to acquire, especially for a highly valued prospect like O’Neil, he is a competent starting pitcher that could help the Mariners for their Wildcard push; he also will be with the organization for the next few years. Gonzales comes to Seattle under contract until 2023.
In a press release, Dipoto indicated that he’s excited to acquire a young pitcher who’s close to the major leagues.
Marco is a quality athlete with high character and a strong pitching pedigree who we feel fits our roster well in both the near and long term,” said Dipoto. “We find his current performance, preparedness and proximity to the Major Leagues to be very appealing traits in a pitcher, particularly a young lefty who is now under club control through the 2023 season.”
This move was purely about both organizations strengthening their farm systems by swapping positions where they are deepest at. The Cardinals desperately need outfield help, and O’Neil was destroying the PCL, and Seattle needs starting pitching help for this season, as well as the future. From a cost control, and benefits stand point this trade makes sense on both sides
But it’s not the sexy move that many Mariners fans were hoping for heading into the non-waiver deadline.
Gonzales numbers won’t wow you, especially if you only look at his 3.1 innings pitched at the major league level this season, but he’s got plenty of upside and was a highly valued prospect in the Cardinals’ farm system; that is, until they became overloaded with starting pitching.
While Gonzalez was shelled in his brief stint this season, he did induce more swinging strikes at his pitches outside of the strike zone.
The 25-year old has three pitches thatbwould he primarily relies on. He has his fastball, a change-up, and a cutter. When Gonzales made his few appearances with St. Louis he overwhelmingly relied on his fastball. For him to become a more effective, and reliable, starter he is going to need to decrease his reliance on his fastball and increase his usage of his cutter and change-up.
While it sucks losing O’Neil, I don’t blame Dipoto for making a move to improve the franchise starting pitching depth by grabbing a young and cost controlled starter.
Welcome to Seattle Marco.