Seattle Mariners: 3 darkhorse candidates to contribute in 2020

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 28: Yusei Kikuchi #18 (R) of the Seattle Mariners stands next to Daniel Vogelbach #20 at the top of the dugout brefore a game against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park on September 28, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 28: Yusei Kikuchi #18 (R) of the Seattle Mariners stands next to Daniel Vogelbach #20 at the top of the dugout brefore a game against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park on September 28, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 04: Carlos Gonzalez #2 of the Chicago Cubshits a run scoring double in the 2nd inning against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field on June 04, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 04: Carlos Gonzalez #2 of the Chicago Cubshits a run scoring double in the 2nd inning against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field on June 04, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

OF Carlos González

Look, I sometimes forget Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnación played for the Mariners and they were with the Major League club for the majority of the first half last year. Come October, when it’s time to review the Mariners’ 2020 season, I’ll randomly remember that Carlos González once donned the navy and teal as a non-roster invitee this spring. Or perhaps, somehow, some way, González will be fondly planted in my mind as someone who revitalized his career in Seattle and helped ease the pain of losing Mitch Haniger for a good part of the season… but probably not.

Okay, okay, jokes aside, it’s not entirely impossible that CarGo still has something left in the tank. He’s just a year removed from a 1.8 fWAR campaign in his last season with the Rockies, slashing a solid .276/.329/.467. Yes, he was really bad in 2019, and yes, the bat speed has gone down, but screw it—I’m on the CarGo bandwagon. We saw a similar turnaround last year in the form of Hunter Pence in his stint with the Rangers, where he went on to put up numbers worthy of an All-Star selection.

Outside of Mallex Smith, the Mariners have very little Major League experience in their current outfield group. With Haniger out indefinitely, González is going to see ample opportunity to make the club, and any sort of success on his part would be huge for a team that could benefit from giving Kyle Lewis and/or Jake Fraley some more time in Triple-A.

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