Morosi: What does future look like for Gonzales, Mariners’ rotation?

Aug 16, 2023, 10:46 AM

Seattle Mariners Marco Gonzales...

Marco Gonzales of the Seattle Mariners pitches on April 2, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

There’s no shortage of starting pitching for the Seattle Mariners right now and going forward.

The Mariners’ current five-man rotation consists of Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert and rookies Bryce Miller and Emerson Hancock. Fellow rookie Bryan Woo is expected to return soon from an IL stint, and then Seattle will shift to a six-man rotation.

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Along with those six, the Mariners have lefties Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales under club control for at least next season as both recover from season-ending surgeries. Ray had Tommy John surgery while Gonzales will undergo surgery to repair a nerve issue in his forearm.

During his weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob, MLB Network insider Jon Morosi was asked by Bob Stelton about what the future holds for Gonzales, who has one year left on his contract as well as a club option for 2025. That led to a wider conversation about the upcoming offseason for the Mariners.

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“It’s a great question, and I think (Gonzales is) gonna be a really good topic as we get into the offseason because I look at him two ways. No. 1, he’s never had to have a ton of velocity to have success. And so with those types of guys who’ve been able to show you that they’ve got command in the past – like high-level command – I tend to trust their ability to come back and figure it out and be something close to the pitcher they’ve been in the past,” Morosi said. “That being said, what are the odds that he breaks camp in the Mariners rotation and is one of their top five guys? I mean, he’s gonna have to jump over a whole bunch of guys that have shown a lot this season. It’s also difficult to trade them coming off an injury. So there’s a lot there.”

That could lead to conversations about the Mariners’ pitching this offseason.

There was some thought that the Mariners may move a young arm at the deadline to add long-term offensive help, but the only notable move the M’s made was trading reliever Paul Sewald.

“I think that the Mariners will be in a very unique position this offseason of being able to put some of their guys on the trade market and just see what they can get. Do you consider moving someone like Gilbert or Woo if it’s the right player back if you’re getting a significant bat?” Morosi said. “That’s where if I’m Seattle, I would arrive to the GM meetings and say, ‘Look, I realize there are probably a couple of guys in this pitching staff, namely Castillo and Kirby, that probably I would trade under no circumstances, but like almost everybody else, what’s their value to you? And let’s talk.'”

A similar type of trade was made at the deadline between Tampa Bay and Cleveland.

The Rays traded for starting pitcher Aaron Civale and gave up a top hitting prospect in Kyle Manzardo, a WSU alum.

“That’s the kind of trade when Cleveland trades Civale and got an everyday position player who’s young, that’s the kind of move I would look to make if I’m Seattle in the offseason. And maybe I would be a little more willing than I would have been at the deadline to release listen on Gilbert or Woo or Miller because I’ve got guys in reserve,” Morosi said.

One of those guys is, of course, Gonzales.

“I think he’s gonna be a fascinating case, Marco is, to see how he comes into camp and he’s going to have to compete and win a job. He’s a hard guy to trade coming off of a surgery unless someone’s really comfortable in what they’d be getting,” Morosi said.

But the MLB insider does think Gonzales could be worth “taking a flyer on” if you need pitching, and one team in particular came to mind.

“I just saw the Yankees last night. I have no idea beyond (Gerrit) Cole and potentially Clark Schmidt, and (Nestor) Cortes if he’s healthy what the rotation looks like next year,” Morosi said. “(Carlos) Rodon has barely pitched this year. There are so many teams that are generally good at least that have some redeeming qualities like the Yankees do, but are completely bereft of pitching depth. And the Mariners are gonna be a really intriguing team to talk with a lot of different GMs this offseason.”

Listen to Jon Morosi’s full conversation with Wyman & Bob at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Morosi: What does future look like for Gonzales, Mariners’ rotation?