NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired left-handed starter Marco Gonzales in a trade with the Braves on Tuesday, bolstering their rotation with the 31-year-old veteran less than 48 hours after Atlanta acquired him.
The deal, in which Atlanta will send cash with Gonzales to Pittsburgh for a player to be named later, adds a noted innings-eater to a rotation topped by Mitch Keller and filled with question marks otherwise.
While Gonzales started only 10 games this year and underwent surgery to fix a nerve issue in his pitching arm, he had established himself as a stalwart in the Mariners' rotation after joining them via trade from St. Louis in 2017. In the four full seasons between 2018 and 2022, Gonzales averaged 174 innings per season, topping out at 203 in 2019.
Gonzales, acquired by the Braves in the money-dump deal that sent outfielder Jarred Kelenic and first baseman Evan White to Atlanta, goes to the Pirates in a similar deal that will shed Gonzales' $12 million contract from the Braves' payroll and subsidize it with cash. The rare big league pitcher whose fastball rarely exceeds 90 mph, Gonzales uses pinpoint command to make up for a lack of strikeouts.
Pittsburgh will rely on him more for his pitchability than his punchouts. Right-handers JT Brubaker and Johan Oviedo underwent Tommy John surgery this year. Young right-handers Roansy Contreras (6.59 ERA) and Quinn Priester (7.74 ERA) struggled to maintain their rotation spots.
The Pirates, who finished 76-86 this year, have help on the way. Right-hander Paul Skenes, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft and the best pitching prospect in baseball, should breeze to the major leagues. Right-hander Jared Jones could debut as well this season, as could righty Mike Burrows, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, and righty Braxton Ashcraft, who carved at three levels and topped out at Double-A in 2023.