The Mariners released a pair of veterans on minor league contracts, as Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com reports that Carlos Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen were both let go from the organization within the last few days. Chen hinted as much in a tweet on his personal account on Saturday, while Gonzalez’s name was initially reported as being one of over 50 Seattle minor league releases in May, before later reports confirmed that CarGo was still with the team.
Gonzalez signed his minors deal in February, and didn’t seem likely to make Seattle’s Opening Day roster prior to the league shutdown. The 34-year-old hit only .200/.289/.283 over 166 PA with the Indians and Cubs in 2019, marking new career lows in both batting performance and playing time. While Gonzalez has posted some excellent numbers over his 12 big league seasons, he hasn’t delivered an above-average season (by wRC+ or OPS+) since 2016, and it could be difficult for the veteran to catch on with another team even with the 2020 season’s expanded rosters.
Chen joined the Mariners in January on a minor league deal, while still collecting the $22MM owed by the Marlins in the final year of his five-year, $80MM free agent deal from the 2015-16 offseason. Injuries and inconsistency resulted in a 5.10 ERA for Chen during his 358 innings with Miami, and the Fish finally parted ways with the southpaw last November.
Between this lack of performance and his age (35 in July), Chen may also have trouble catching on with another Major League organization. Indeed, there have already been reports out of Chen’s native Taiwan suggesting that the left-hander could catch on with a team in Japan. Chen began his career with the Chunichi Dragons back in 2005, and posted an impressive 2.59 ERA over 650 2/3 frames in Nippon Professional Baseball.