The Pittsburgh Pirates have struck at the Winter Meetings. They’ve acquired left-handed starting pitcher Marco Gonzales and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves, a source confirmed to Pittsburgh Baseball Now. To complete the Pirates’ trade, the team will send a player to be named later to Atlanta.
Gonzales was just acquired by the Braves from the Seattle Mariners on Sunday in a five-player swap.
Prior to the trade to Atlanta, Gonzales spent seven seasons with the Mariners after he was obtained from the St. Louis Cardinals in a midseason trade in 2017. Gonzales was originally a first-round pick (19th overall) by the Cardinals in the 2013 draft.
With the Mariners, the 31-year-old Gonzales became a mainstay in the rotation. He made 151 appearances, 148 of which were starts, and pitched to a solid 4.08 ERA with a 61-47 record.
Gonzales isn’t an overpowering pitcher. For his career, he’s averaged only 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings. The left-hander pitches to contact and has allowed a very respectable 2.4 walks per nine over the course of his nine-year big league career.
In 2023, Gonzales was limited to 10 starts after he was placed on the injured list with a left forearm strain in June. The injury kept him out for the rest of the season. When he did pitch, Gonzales struggled to the tune of a 5.22 ERA, though his 4.28 FIP was in much better shape.
The Pirates have been searching for multiple starting pitchers this offseason and have landed one to give them a veteran arm alongside Mitch Keller in the rotation.
Gonzales is set to make $12.25 million in 2024, though the Braves will seemingly be covering a portion of that. The Pirates also hold a $15 million club option over Gonzales for 2025.
This is the fourth consecutive offseason that general manager Ben Cherington has acquired a left-handed starter — Tyler Anderson (2021), José Quintana (2022) and Rich Hill (2023).
The Pittsburgh Pirates will still be searching for additional rotation help as the offseason continues. They have already been linked to free agent right-hander Jack Flaherty.