SEATTLE -- While Marco Gonzales may have given up some future earning potential with his decision to sign a four-year contract extension with the Mariners on Tuesday, but when you've found a place you want to be that can be all the incentive necessary.
"To the Mariners and the city of Seattle, I think we've found our home," Gonzales said in a press conference announcing the . "We truly believe that the reason I'm so competitive and passionate here is because this is our home city."
Gonzales has made Seattle his home year-round. His wife, Monica, is from Redmond and they had made Seattle their offseason home even before he was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Mariners prior to the 2018 season. Gonzales met his wife when they attended college at Gonzaga University in Spokane and Seattle has become the place they want to be.
“It’s a perfect fit for us," Gonzales said. "We love to call this home. We always knew we wanted to raise kids and eventually settle down here. After I got traded here in 2017 and we were up with the team, Monica and I kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘Well, this is as good as any reason to know this is our home.’ We were very, very proud.”
Gonzales began speaking with the Mariners about his future with the team over the offseason. Gonzales' agents began speaking with General Manager Jerry Dipoto about a possible contract at the Winter Meetings in December with discussions heating up over the last few weeks. Gonzales, even at just 27 years old, is now one of the more veteran pieces of a team building toward the future.
"We want to start putting together this foundation and this is, for lack of a better way to put it, a sign that we're putting our money where our mouth is,” Dipoto said. "We want to be about this young group of players and make sure this group understands they are here and our fan base understands that these are the Mariners."
Dipoto said that Gonzales already stepped up to show he's willing to take on a leadership role after the team traded away veterans such as Jay Bruce, Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Leake last season. Gonzales will now be the veteran leader of a group that is expected to add Justus Sheffield, Justin Dunn, Logan Gilbert and other young pieces to their rotation in the coming years.
"That’s really when Marco started to rise,” Dipoto said. “It was especially notable when Sheff got here and Justin Dunn, or even the week he spent with Logan Gilbert and seeing the impact he had on those guys. What we think of those players and their character and personalities, Marco is the perfect leader for that group and you don’t run across too many guys in baseball with that skill-set and the want to employ it. Marco has the skills and the want-to.”
Gonzales knows that it was a big decision to sign a deal now that locks him into a deal through the 2024 season. However, the chance to be comfortable in Seattle and secure in his future was just too important to Gonzales to pass up.
“For us moving forward here in Seattle, to be with our family and to be with a ball club that is trying to build a championship team, to have a chance to be at the forefront of that is a huge opportunity for me,” Gonzales said.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WASH - FEBRUARY 4: Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto and left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales speak at a press conference on Feb. 4, 2020 to discuss Gonzales' four-year contract extension with the team. (photo by Curtis Crabtree / Sports Radio 950 KJR) ... ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 19: Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 19, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)