The Seattle Mariners are signing former All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal, according to multiple reports.
The deal with Gonzalez was first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Gonzalez has an invite to major league spring training and will be in a competition to make the roster. The signing of Gonzalez likely would have been unnecessary had Mitch Haniger not had to undergo surgery recently to address a sports hernia. With Haniger set to miss the start of the season, the Mariners could benefit from the additional depth Gonzalez provides this spring.
Outside of Mallex Smith, the Mariners projected outfield has just 57 games of combined Major League experience. Braden Bishop (27 games), Kyle Lewis (18), Jake Fraley (12) and Jose Siri (0) would make for an extremely inexperienced outfield corps to pair with Smith.
Gonzalez is a three-time All-Star outfielder with the Colorado Rockies. However, he is coming off a disappointing 2019 season with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs that saw his designated for assignment twice. He hit a combined .200 with three home runs, 21 runs and 10 RBI in 45 total games. He has not played since being released by the Cubs last June.
Gonzalez was an MVP candidate in his first full season with the Rockies in 2010. He finished third in the voting for the National League MVP after posting a .336 average with 197 hits and 351 total bases, which all led the NL. He hit 34 home runs, drove in 117 and scored 111 runs during his breakout season. Between 2010 and 2016, Gonzalez was one of the best players in the National League. He averaged just under a .300 average over that span and was named to the All-Star team in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Photo Credit: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 04: Carlos Gonzalez #2 of the Chicago Cubs hits a run scoring double in the 2nd inning against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field on June 04, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)