St. Louis Cardinals: First trade shot has Marco Gonzales on the move

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 13: Starter Marco Gonzales
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 13: Starter Marco Gonzales /

Before the St. Louis Cardinals start a three game series with the Chicago Cubs, the front office decided to get proactive and make their first move of the trading season.

In what seems like a very quiet move, the St. Louis Cardinals have made a trade. In the deal the Cardinals will send minor leaguer Marco Gonzales to the Seattle Mariners. In return the St. Louis Cardinals will receive minor league outfielder Tyler O’Neill, the Mariners number two prospect. The move does seem a bit odd for a team that has a surplus of outfield talent.

In O’Neill the St. Louis Cardinals will get more power, something the farm system seems to lack. The 22-year-old has 19 home runs to this point in AAA this season. O’Neill has shown his proclivity for power in the past, in 2015 he had 32 home runs with High-A Bakersfield. He followed that up with 24 home runs for AA Jackson.

The power is impressive, but when looking at O’Neill as a whole package there are some concerns. Thus far in 2017, O’Neill has a .244 batting average; this could be connected to adjusting to a new level of competition. His strikeout rate is abysmal: through 93 games O’Neill has struck out 108 times.

The power is impressive, but unless he gets a grip on the strikeouts it is hard to see a path to the majors.

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Dealing from a surplus, the St. Louis Cardinals decided to part ways with Marco Gonzales. After having unimpressive stints in the majors, it seemed like Marco was not in the clubs future plans. The recent increase in pitching prospects made things more difficult to include him in the team’s plans. For AAA Memphis, Marco was impressive, posting a 2.78 ERA in 12 starts. Unfortunately the success didn’t translate to the majors.

The Cardinals drafted Marco Gonzales in 2013 with the 19th overall pick. He was a pick in what seemed to be a normal pattern for the team: adding a college arm with a high floor but a low ceiling. He will move to a Mariners team that has been in need of pitching help for some time. It would not be a surprise if Marco made his debut for the Mariners very soon.

The move just creates more questions though. For a team with a surplus of outfield prospects it is hard to decipher this move. Unless this is a means to a bigger play, there will be some real confusion. For a team that doesn’t have a place on the roster for Magneuris Sierra and Harrison Bader it is hard to understand the addition of another highly touted outfield prospect.

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The move at least shows that the front office isn’t sitting on their hands. What the next move is remains to be seen. Hopefully, Mozeliak and the rest of the front office will take real steps in improving this team for the rest of this season and for the future.