Marco Gonzales is one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. In 2019, Gonzales went 16-13 with a 3.99 ERA in 203 innings pitched. In 2020, he took a step forward as he went 7-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 11 starts. He identifies as a reliable middle of the rotation arm who can eat innings and give your team a chance to win. The Mets need guys like that. Gonzales went at least five innings in all but one of his starts this season and allowed more than four runs only once. That kind of consistency is needed in the back end of a rotation.
While his stuff isn’t flashy, he gets the job done. Gonzales struck out 64 batters in 69.2 innings pitched, an 8.3 K/9. That’s pretty average. But, Gonzalez had a 9.14 K/BB ratio, which led the league. This is due to him walking a league-leading 0.9 batters per nine innings. In addition to the low walks, Gonzales allowed just 1.0 HR/9, a very good number especially nowadays.
Gonzales is a reliable option who you know won’t beat himself. He won’t put guys on base via the walk and won’t give up so many home runs. He might give up some hits as he does pitch to contact, but if the Mets can field a good defensive team like this new regime says they will try to do, Gonzales can be a sneaky good pickup.
Gonzales is 28 years old and is on an extremely team-friendly deal. Last February Gonzales signed a four-year $30 million-dollar extension with the Mariners. In the next two seasons, he will make only $5 million dollars a season. For someone who just pitched as well as he did, and for someone with his track record, that is an absolute steal. In addition to the four guaranteed years, there is a team option for a fifth worth $15 million dollars.
A guy like Gonzales who you know will eat innings and will consistently keep you in games is extremely valuable to have. The fact that Seattle isn’t contending for a couple more years at least might make them try to shop him to acquire more future assets. I obviously don’t want to give up too much, but at the right price, I would jump at any opportunity to land a quality arm like this.