The Seattle Mariners have locked up one of their long-term building blocks. Monday afternoon the team announced they have signed left-hander Marco Gonzales to a four-year contract extension with a club option for a fifth year. The contract begins in 2021 and can keep Gonzalez in Seattle through 2025.
"Since joining the Mariners, Marco has been a model of consistency, quietly ranking among the most productive starting pitchers in the AL," general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "His presence, competitiveness, preparation and leadership make him a key part of our future."
Gonzalez, 27, was already slated to make $1 million in 2020 under the terms of the two-year extension he signed last offseason. As a condition of that extension, Gonzales dropped the service time grievance he filed against the Cardinals, his former team ( ).
Seattle acquired Gonzales from St. Louis at the 2017 trade deadline. Gonzales would have been arbitration-eligible for the first time in 2021 and was under team control through 2023. The new deal buys out his arbitration years and potentially two free agent years.
"This is truly an exciting day for me and my family," Gonzales said in a statement. "We consider the city of Seattle our home, and to be welcomed by the Mariner organization and the fans with such open arms, and now this contract, is a dream come true. This organization has a vision for winning a championship, and I am honored to be a part of their plans. This will only further motivate me and the passion that I have to compete and win. I do not take their commitment to me lightly, and I will always represent this team and this city with honor and pride."
Last year Gonzales became the first pitcher other than Felix Hernandez to start Opening Day for the Mariners since Erik Bedard in 2008. Gonzalez finished with 3.99 ERA and 3.2 WAR in 203 innings. Since joining the Mariners, Gonzales has a 4.12 ERA in 406 1/3 innings. He's emerging as one of the better lefties in the American League.
At the moment Gonzales and Yusei Kikuchi are the only locks for Seattle's rotation. Prospects Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield will compete for rotation spots in spring training with Nestor Cortes, Kendall Graveman, Nick Margevicius, and Erik Swanson.
The Mariners went 68-94 last season and are not expected to contend for a postseason berth in 2020. They have not been to the postseason since 2001, Ichiro's rookie year..