The Seattle Mariners once again are looking to upgrade their pitching depth as they traded outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for starting pitcher Marco Gonzales.
This trade doesn’t make much sense at all for the Mariners because they are giving up their 2nd ranked prospect Tyler O’Neill who has been outstanding in Triple-A. However, in return they are only getting the Cardinals 18th ranked prospect Marco Gonzales who is coming off of Tommy John surgery last year. Gonzales is a left-handed pitcher prospect who was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 draft by the Cardinals and he certainly has some upside. However, Gonzales hasn’t been very good at the MLB level when he’s been called up as he only has a 4.82 career ERA in 12 games. Gonzales is pitching depth for the Mariners if anything and he might never develop into a decent MLB pitcher. Gonzales will likely start in Triple-A until the Mariners feel that he is ready, but giving up O’Neill for him is just stupid. O’Neill has a much bigger upside than Gonzales and O’Neill has the potential to be a very good starter unlike Gonzales who is just likely starting rotation depth at best for the Mariners. I’m not quite sure why the Mariners would make this trade since O’Neill has much bigger potential than Gonzales and Seattle should have gotten at least another decent prospect in return.
The Cardinals continue to add to their young outfield depth as they acquired Tyler O’Neill who was the 2nd-ranked prospect in the Mariners minor league system. St. Louis did have to give up promising pitching prospect Marco Gonzales, but Gonzales doesn’t have nearly as much upside as O’Neill anyway. Gonzales was a 2013 1st round pick by St. Louis and he still has some upside, but he struggled at the MLB level while with the Cardinals and injuries have really held him back. The Cardinals are really good at developing starting pitchers, yet for some reason they just weren’t able to develop Gonzales effectively. Meanwhile, Tyler O’Neill might now be the best outfield prospect in the Cardinals organization which is already stacked with young outfielders. O’Neill is known as a very good hitter and he is certainly proving that season as he has hit 19 home runs in Triple-A this season. O’Neill probably won’t hit for a high average, but he has great power and he can drive in tons of runs. O’Neill also has decent speed as he has 9 stolen bases this season, but he needs to become a better defensive player. O’Neill projects as a corner outfielder at the MLB because of his lack of defense, but he should be a starter as long as he can continue to hit like he has in the minor leagues. O’Neill could make his MLB debut very soon and that is when we will see if his power numbers will remain. Overall, this is a steal for the Cardinals because they are getting a young prospect with big upside for a pitcher that wasn’t going to have a big role with the team anyway.