Friday, July 21, 2017
MLB trade review: Mariners, Cardinals make swap of prospects
In an interesting decision, the Seattle Mariners traded OF Tyler O'Neil to the St. Louis Cardinals for LHP Marco Gonzales.
The Cardinals were most likely not the one's offering the trade, because they don't need an outfielder, but the 22 year old O'Neil is a very good hitter, and a big prospect, so they are probably ecstatic about acquiring him. They give up a young pitcher in Gonzales, but they get a good prospect, so it's worth it. O'Neil was the Mariners second best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
O'Neil has never played in the MLB. This year in Tacoma (AAA), he has a .244 batting average, 19 home runs, 56 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 396 Plate Appearances. He has a .269 batting average, 89 HRs, 300 RBIs and 44 stolen bases in 1794 Plate Appearances in his minor league career.
I'm not really sure why the Mariners made this trade. They will have Gonzales under team control for a while, but he isn't as big as a prospect as O'Neil. He has some major league experience, which O'Neil doesn't have, but he also has injury history. He's 25 years old and has already gone through Tommy John surgery.
"Marco is a quality athlete with high character and a strong pitching pedigree who we feels fits our roster well in both the near and long term," Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "We find his current performance, preparedness and proximity to the major leagues to be appealing traits in a pitcher, particularly a young lefty who is now under club control through the 2023 season."
Gonzales has one start in the majors this season. He gave up five runs in 3.1 innings in the losing effort. In 68.1 innings for Memphis (AAA), Gonzales has a 2.90 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 57 strikeouts. In his MLB career, (all for the Cardinals) Gonzales has a 5.53 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 40.2 innings.
I think the Cardinals win this trade. They get a highly touted prospect in O'Neil, and don't give up a roster player for him. The Mariners could've gotten more for O'Neil, but maybe there's something they see in Gonzales that I don't, because establish veterans would have a chance of winning a trade if they were traded for O'Neil, but not Gonzales.