This trade will be familiar to both Mariner and Cardinal fans. Marco Gonzales for Tyler O'Neill. However this time the roles are reversed. The Mariners receiving Tyler O'Neill in exchange for Marco Gonzales in combination with cash considerations or a low-level prospect to offset the cost of Marco's contract. The Mariners have a plethora of pitching depth, a fact that has been highlighted by the Bryan Woo and Bryce Miller trade ideas for Juan Soto.
The Mariners home runs aside, which has left the Mariners with a huge power gap as the two of them provided 44 home runs,189 RBI, 4.4 WAR, along with massive amounts of strikeouts. Tyler O'Neill also proves as a defensive upgrade over Teoscar Hernández, winning two gold gloves for the Cardinals in 2020 and 2021 and whose glove would play up in the pitcher-friendly park known as T-Mobile Park.
Exploring why the Cardinals would do this trade, it's no secret the Cardinals struggled with starting pitching in 2023. Ranking 24th in team ERA in 2023, it's a simple fact the Cardinals need pitching. The Cardinals have outfield depth with Jordan Walker, Lars Nootbaar, and Dylan Carlson manning their outfield, along with Alec Burleson. Potentially Dylan Moore can be a part of the deal to provide the Cardinals with a UTIL man as the Mariners have a logjam at the UTIL position.
Based on a recent "X" formerly Twitter poll I conducted, the responses are in favor of trading Marco Gonzales. This trade would allow to Mariners to keep Miller and Woo or trade them in a Juan Soto trade to align the the outfield with Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, and Tyler O'Neill. Jarred Kelenic would most likely be the odd man out as a trade with the Padres would probably include a combo of Bryce Miller/Bryan Woo and Kelenic plus some.
Although the Cardinals have signed Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson, the Cardinals rotation could still use a steady innings eater in the likes of Marco Gonzales. Marco Gonzales is slated to be ready to pitch for the upcoming season and could be a sneaky pickup for teams. The Mariners have the chance to also cash in on a bounce-back candidate such as Tyler O'Neill.
The Mariners need to fill an outfield spot. As evident in the calls for Jorge Soler, who would fill the power gap, but is a slight upgrade and replacement for Teoscar Hernandez on the offensive side, while not providing the defensive value Tyler O'Neill gives to the team. A fully healthy season of Tyler O'Neill could potentially look like his 2021 age 26 season which included a slash line of .286/.352/.560 to include 34 homeruns and 15 stolen bases.
The Mariners and Cardinals should look into locking horns on a trade for Marco Gonzales and Tyler O'Neill. Both are bounce-back candidates that fit the needs of both teams. Seattle might need to send money and a prospect from the top 20-30 range to get the deal done, but it's a deal that works for both teams.