Carlos González (baseball)

Carlos Eduardo González (born October 17, 1985), nicknamed "CarGo", is a Venezuelan former professional baseball outfielder. Over the course of his Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he played for the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago Cubs. A three-time All-Star, González was the National League batting champion in 2010. He has also won two Silver Slugger Awards and is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner.[1] While mainly a right fielder throughout his career, González was the Rockies' starting left fielder from 2010-2014; in 2015 he transitioned to right field.

Carlos González
González in 2016
Born: (1985-10-17) October 17, 1985
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 30, 2008, for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
June 27, 2019, for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
Batting average.285
Home runs234
Runs batted in785
Career highlights and awards


Arizona Diamondbacks

Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, González signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent on August 3, 2002. González began his professional baseball career in 2003 for the Rookie League Missoula Osprey. González batted .258 with six home runs in 72 games. In 2004, González split time between the Low Single-A Yakima Bears and the Single-A South Bend Silver Hawks. In 85 games, he batted .275 with 10 home runs.

González played the 2005 season again for the Silver Hawks. He led the team in games played (129) and RBIs (92), and was also second on the team in batting average (.307), home runs (18), at bats (515) and runs scored (91). González was named to the Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star teams and was also selected as the Midwest League Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year. Baseball America and Topps each named González as a Low Class-A All-Star. Topps also chose him as the Midwest League Player of the Year.

In 2006, Baseball America rated González at #32 on their top 100 prospects list and was the 6th-highest Diamondbacks player on that list. González mainly played for the High Single-A Lancaster JetHawks in 2006, but also spent some time with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies. González played in 122 games and batted .289 with a career high 23 home runs. He also led the JetHawks in home runs (21) and RBIs (93). González was also an All-Star Futures Game selection and a California League postseason All-Star selection. Baseball America rated González as a High Class-A All-Star, and he received the same honor from Topps.

In 2007, Baseball America rated González at #18 on their top 10 prospects list and was the 3rd highest Diamondbacks player on that list. González mainly played for the Double-A Mobile BayBears, but also spent some time in Triple-A with the Tucson Sidewinders. González played in 130 games and batted .288 with 17 home runs. González led the BayBears in home runs (16) and RBI (75). González was once again named to the All-Star Futures Game.

On December 14, 2007, the Diamondbacks traded González, Dana Eveland, Aaron Cunningham, Chris Carter, Brett Anderson, and Greg Smith to the Oakland Athletics for Dan Haren and Connor Robertson.[2]

Oakland Athletics

González batting for the Athletics in 2008

On May 30, 2008, González made his MLB debut at the age of 22 against the Texas Rangers, where he got first career hit, an opposite field double down the left field line off Texas Rangers pitcher Kevin Millwood. This was one of two doubles he hit in his major league debut. His next five major league hits were also doubles, making González the first player since Hall of Famer Johnny Mize in 1936 to record the first seven hits of his career as extra base hits.[3] On June 20, 2008, González hit his first career home run against the Florida Marlins. It was a solo home run that was hit off a curveball to right-center field. He had his first 4-hit game, going 4-for-4 against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 8.

Colorado Rockies

On November 12, 2008, González was traded with Huston Street and Greg Smith to the Colorado Rockies for Matt Holliday.[4] After what many called a disappointing season with Oakland, González spent most of the season with the Rockies Triple-A affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. After a series of injuries to the Rockies outfield, González was called up and started slowly, but eventually began to produce, proving himself as a nice combination of power and speed atop the lineup. In the 2009 National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, González tied the franchise record for the most hits in an NLDS with 10, and led the NLDS and ALDS in batting average with .588 in four games. In his 2010 season, he finished in the top 5 in home runs, batting average, RBIs, and runs scored in the National League.

On July 31, 2010, in a game against the Chicago Cubs, González hit for the cycle, including a walk-off home run on the first pitch in the bottom of the 9th inning.[5] He became the first player since Dwight Evans of the Boston Red Sox in 1984 to hit a walk-off home run for the cycle, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Manager Jim Tracy labeled González as not just a five-tool player, but a "six-tool player."[6][7] Only four other players in major league baseball history had completed a cycle with a game-ending homer: Ken Boyer (1961),[8] César Tovar (1972),[7] George Brett (1979),[9] Dwight Evans (1984).[10] Nolan Arenado repeated the feat in 2017 to make it six total players in major league history.

In 2010, González garnered serious consideration as a candidate for the National League MVP award, along with St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, as well as a Triple Crown candidate with the above-mentioned first basemen.[11][12] However, González fell short on home runs and narrowly missed having the most RBI, but did manage to win the NL batting title in 2010 with a .336 average. He finished with 34 home runs, 117 RBI and a National League-leading 197 hits. He also led the National League in total bases (351) and power-speed number (29.5).[13][14]

González received the National League Players Choice Award for Outstanding Player in 2010.[15] He then won the Players Choice Award for Player of the Year throughout Major League Baseball.[16] González was also voted the winner of the 2010 Luis Aparicio Award, which is given to the most outstanding Venezuelan player in Major League Baseball, as voted by Venezuelan and international Spanish-speaking media.[17] He finished third in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America for National League MVP.[18] For his defensive efforts in 2010, in which he only committed one error in the outfield, González won his first Gold Glove.[19] On the offensive side, González received his first Silver Slugger Award.[20]

González signed a seven-year, $80.5 million contract extension with the Rockies on January 11, 2011. The contract included a $3 million signing bonus and yearly salaries through 2017 that ramp up to $20 million. It is the largest contract in MLB history for a two-year player. On May 21, 2012, he became the 22nd player in MLB history to hit a home run in four consecutive at-bats, doing this during a two-game span against the Houston Astros. In early July 2011, Gonzalez injured his right wrist and was placed on the disabled list. On July 21, 2011, he yet again injured the wrist against the Atlanta Braves. On May 14, 2013, he went 5-for-5 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, hitting 2 home runs and setting a new career high with 5 hits in one game. On June 5, 2013, he hit 3 home runs against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in a 12-4 victory.

In 2014, with the breakout of Corey Dickerson, González was moved out to right field.

González won a Silver Slugger Award in right field for the 2015 season after hitting 40 home runs, second most in the National League.[21]

After his poor performance in the 2017 season it was highly speculated that Gonzalez would not return to play for the Rockies in the 2018 season. After the 2017 season González did temporarily leave the team, and entered free agency. However González was re-signed to a one-year, $8 million contract on March 12, 2018, to remain playing for the Rockies.

In 2018, he played 132 games hitting 16 home runs and batting .276 with 67 RBI's. He entered free agency at the end of the season.

Cleveland Indians

González signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians on March 19, 2019; the deal included a non-roster invitation to spring training. He is set to make $2 million, plus $1 million in incentives, because he made the big league roster.[22][23]

The Indians purchased González's contract on April 14, 2019.[24] González was designated for assignment by the Indians on May 22, 2019 after hitting .210 with 2 home runs and 7 runs batted in. After clearing waivers, González elected free agency on May 26, 2019.

Chicago Cubs

On May 30, 2019, González agreed to a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs. The team purchased his contract on June 3, 2019, and he was the starting right fielder in an inter-league game against the Los Angeles Angels. With one out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, González made a highlight-reel game-saving diving catch.[25] On June 29, he was designated for assignment for the second time in the 2019 season.[26] On July 2, González again elected free agency.[1][27]

Seattle Mariners

He was signed to a minor league contract on February 12, 2020 with the Seattle Mariners. Gonzalez was released by the Mariners organization on June 25, 2020.

Personal life

He was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Gonzalez married a Venezuelan woman named Indonesia Riera on October 20, 2012.[28][29] He is the father of a boy and twin girls.[30]

See also


  1. "Carlos Gonzalez Stats". Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  2. Diamondbacks trade for Haren, trade away Valverde
  3. "González has doubles vision so far". MLB. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
  4. Barry M. Bloom (October 28, 2008). "Rockies, A's complete Holliday deal". Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  5. "July 31, 2010 Cubs-Rockies box score". Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  6. Moss, Irv (August 2, 2010). "Rockies' "six-tool" González briefly takes NL batting lead". Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  7. "September 19, 1972 Twins-Rangers box score". Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  8. "September 14, 1961 Cardinals-Cubs box score". Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  9. "May 28, 1979 Orioles-Royals box score". Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  10. "June 28, 1984 Mariners-Red Sox box score". Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  11. "Carlos González, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto vie for Triple Crown — Tom Verducci —". Sports Illustrated. September 14, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  12. ""More mature" Carlos González rises to MVP candidate". The Denver Post. August 8, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  13. Yearly League Leaders &amp Records for Total Bases |
  14. Yearly League Leaders &amp Records for Power-Speed # |
  15. "Josh Hamilton (AL), Carlos González (NL) named top players – ESPN". January 1, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  16. "MLB players name Rockies' Gonzalez player of the year". Denver Post.
  17. "CarGo takes home Aparicio Award | News". October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  18. "Votto wins NL MVP by overwhelming margin | News". Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  19. "Scott Rolen wins Gold Glove in third different uniform — ESPN". November 11, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  20. "CarGo, Tulo team up again, win Silver Sluggers | News". May 24, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  21. Rockies' Gonzalez, Arenado win Silver Sluggers |
  22. "Indians sign OF Carlos Gonzalez". March 19, 2019.
  23. Bell, Mandy (March 19, 2019). "Indians agree to deal with CarGo". MLB. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  24. "Indians select OF Carlos González from Columbus; option RHP Jefry Rodrĺguez to Columbus". April 14, 2019.
  25. Sullivan, Paul (June 3, 2019). "How about that new guy?' Carlos Gonzalez helps Jon Lester and the Cubs beat the Angels 8-1 in his debut". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  26. Bastian, Jordan (June 29, 2019). "Cubs designated CarGo, Hamels to IL". Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  27. Crouse, Jake (July 4, 2019). "Robel Garcia called up to Cubs amid talk of 'changes'". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  28. "FOTO: CarGo se "lanzĂł al agua", su compaĂąero Dexter Fowler compartiĂł imĂĄgenes en twitter". Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  29. 6/11/13 CG: WSH@COL - YouTube
  30. Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies says twin daughters doing well
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