St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals trade longtime pitching prospect, land minor-league outfielder

In this June 13, 2017, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Marco Gonzales throws during the first inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers, in St. Louis. The Seattle Mariners acquired Gonzales from the Cardinals on Friday, July 21, 2017, in exchange for top outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill.
In this June 13, 2017, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Marco Gonzales throws during the first inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers, in St. Louis. The Seattle Mariners acquired Gonzales from the Cardinals on Friday, July 21, 2017, in exchange for top outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill. AP

Longtime prized left-hander Marco Gonzales was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

The Cardinals acquired minor-league outfielder Tyler O’Neill from the Mariners. O’Neill, 22, a third-round pick (85th overall) in the 2013 draft, was batting .244 with 21 doubles, 19 home runs, 56 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 93 games at Class AAA Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League.

Gonzales, 25, was the Cardinals’ No. 1 pick (19th overall) in the 2013 draft. He was 6-4 with a 2.78 ERA in 12 games (all starts), including 11 at Class AAA Memphis. Gonzales had won five in a row until losing Tuesday at Oklahoma City.

“This was more of a traditional trade in the sense that O’Neill was an outfielder with upside in the Mariners organization and Gonzales was a pitcher with upside in our organization,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said. “If you look at the depth we have with the pitching in our system, it allowed us to make a move like this to improve. We are excited for Tyler to join our organization.”

Gonzales wrote to fans on Twitter: “Thank you, St. Louis. Greatly honored to have been a part of such a great organization. Looking forward to a new chapter! Go M’s!”

O’Neill, a right-handed hitter from Canada, will report to Memphis. He was rated the Mariners’ No. 2 prospect by mlb.com. O’Neill has batted .269 with 89 homers and 300 RBIs in 418 career games in the minors.

Gonzales debuted with the Cardinals in 2014, going 4-2 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 games and five starts. He spent most of the 2015 season on the disabled list with a left pectoral muscle injury and did not pitch at all in 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

“Marco is a quality athlete with high character and a strong pitching pedigree who we feel fits our roster well in both the near and long term,” Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. “We find his current performance, preparedness and proximity to the major leagues to be very appealing traits in a pitcher, particularly a young lefty who is now under club control through the 2023 season.”

David Wilhelm: @DavidMWilhelm

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