The Mariners organization traded veteran LHP Marco Gonzales to the Braves who then traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Marco played seven years for the Mariners. He led the pitching rotation for much of that time.
First Years in the Majors
Gonzales attended Rocky Mountain HS in Colorado. The St. Louis Cardinals selected Marco in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from Gonzaga. He began pitching for the Cardinals in MLB. In 2015 but was injured and only appeared once,.Though he also batted well, the Cardinals wanted to use him exclusively for pitching.
Marco Gonzales and the Mariners
In 2017, the Cards traded Gonzales to the Mariners for Tyler O’Neill. Marco was part of the starting rotation in 2018. He finished with a Win/Loss record of 13-9 and an ERA of 4.00. In 2019, he pitched for a win on Opening Day. In an early season match in Tokyo, he had a win against the Oakland Athletics. His 2019 stats were 16-13, with a 3.99 ERA.
In 2020 and 2021, Gonzales was Seattle's strongest pitcher with 7-2 and 3.10 ERA in 2020 and 10-6, 3.96 ERA in 2021. His 2022 pitching was not as strong as the previous two seasons. In 2023, he went 4-1 in 10 starts.
Marco’s last game as Mariner was against his new team, the Pittsburgh Pirates He threw 90 pitches, 57 of them were strikes, against 23 batters over 5.2 innings. He allowed three hits and one run. Not too shabby at all, especially since his arm was injured!
After this last start, he went on the injured list. He had surgery on his left arm to ease pressure on a nerve. He believed he would be ready for Spring Training in 2024
Gonzales and Leadership On and Off the Field
Until his trade, Marco was the veteran Mariner player, a steady presence for many young players who broke into MLB in the 2023 season.
In 2022 and 2023, the Mariners nominated Marco for the Roberto Clemente award. "The Roberto Clemente Award is bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."
Gonzales began serving the community while he was at Gonzaga, stating that he wanted to “Win on the field, win in the classroom, and win in the community.” He and his wife Monica were college sweethearts and began their commitment to the community in the Cardinals’ minor leagues. Sadly, Monica’s mother suffered and died from Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). MSA is a degenerative neurological illness. In 2022, they began selling a bottle of wine, Grace G7 Red Blend wine. Many of Marco’s teammates attended the wine release and made donations to the silent auctions. They were able to raise $44,300 for MSA research.
Marco also was a spokesman for the “Refuse to Abuse” campaign that targets domestic violence. His 5K race raised about 85 thousand dollars. Because the Gonzales family lived in Seattle all year, Marco was also involved with the Mariners Caravan and Community Tours and he partnered with Rick Rizzs supporting Toys for Kids. His overall philosophy was that his role as a player gave him a platform for making the world a better place. For the last two seasons, Monica led the fundraising for Mariners Care by organizing the players' "Favorite Things" baskets auctioned off at the end of the season.
The Gonzales Family will be Pirates!
Marco hopes to help the Pirates get to the Postseason. Marco, Monica, and their two daughters will no longer grace T-Mobile Field as often and when the Mariners play the Pirates in 2024, the games will unfortunately be in Pittsburgh. Thank you for your leadership and example on the field and off. We will miss you! Please don't be strangers when in town.