Seattle Mariners Terrible Trade With St. Louis Cardinals Loses Tyler O’Neill For Struggling Pitcher [Opinion]

The Seattle Mariners have completed a terrible trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, sending outfielder Tyler O’Neill for struggling pitcher Marco Gonzales. It appears that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is attempting to set the new standard for worst trade in the history of the franchise, and fans are letting him know it on social media.

A report from the Seattle Mariners confirms that the deal has taken place. Starting with Marco Gonzales, a 25-year-old left-handed pitcher and former first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has made three stints with the Cardinals since 2014, appearing in 12 games and posting a 5.53 ERA and 1.648 WHIP over 40 2/3 innings of work.

Jerry Dipoto must be hoping the stats Gonzales put up at Triple-A this season can predict that he becomes a good starting pitcher. He made 12 starts, posting a 2.78 ERA and 0.982 WHIP over 74 1/3 innings of work. Gonzales had 64 strikeouts and 17 walks during those games. He will now report to Triple-A Tacoma for the Mariners.

Tyler O’Neill played 93 games this season for Tacoma, posting a 0.244 batting average with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs. Over his last 24 games, he was hitting 0.326 with a 1.192 OPS, four doubles, 13 homers, and 30 RBIs. Those numbers had Mariners fans hoping that he was going to provide the team with a late-season burst of momentum on offense, but now he may never see Safeco Field as a member of the home team.

This deal reeks of desperation for the Seattle Mariners, and it only makes sense if Marco Gonzales is immediately going to get promoted to pitch for the team down the stretch. The Mariners need starting pitching this year and have been rushing prospects (like Andrew Moore) in an effort to find someone who can cover the innings. The team did just acquire David Phelps from the Miami Marlins, but he is expected to be used primarily for bullpen work. That leaves a huge hole in the rotation that Dipoto still hasn’t filled.

Maybe Jerry Dipoto sees something in Marco Gonzales that the fans of the Seattle Mariners aren’t seeing yet. Maybe he saw a hole in the swing of Tyler O’Neill that hasn’t been apparent during the last month. Maybe this is a deal that the Mariners will look back on as a key move that finally got the team back into the postseason for the first time in years. Or maybe this will be a deal that ranks with the trades of Jason Varitek and Adam Jones as some of the worst in the history of the franchise. At least the Seattle Mariners didn’t trade Kyle Lewis.

[Featured Image by Norm Hall/Getty Images]