The Mariners seem to go out of their way to tell people that they want Marco Gonzales to be the leader of their pitching staff well into the time they expect to compete for playoff spots and I am inclined to take them at their word. In addition, Gonzales just signed a team-friendly deal that controls his salary nicely.
On top of that, Gonzales is safe. We know he is going to give you 160-180 innings of quality, mid-rotation ball. He has posted a total 6.0 bWAR and a 7.1 fWAR in his two full seasons with the Mariners. The simple truth is that Gonzales is probably more valuable to the Mariners than any team in baseball.
Think about it like this: when is the last time a soft-tossing lefty was traded for a legitimate prospect package? It just doesn’t happen often in an era that is obsessed with velocity and swing-and-miss stuff. Gonzales is a bit of a throwback and most teams chase upside at the deadline and believe they can find a Marco Gonzales in free agency, so why give up good prospects to get Gonzales?
There is no reason for the Mariners to take anything less than what they got for 2 seasons of James Paxton and it is hard to imagine any team is going to beat that for Gonzales. What we have here is a perfect marriage between Gonzales and the city of Seattle.
Why would the Mariners mess with a good thing for a sub-par prospect package? Doesn’t it make more sense to keep Gonzales and build around him, especially since he has 5-years of incredibly cheap club-control left on his deal?