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Pirates acquire Marco Gonzales from Atlanta Braves

Gonzales, 31, made 10 starts last season and is under club control for two seasons.

Los Angeles Dodgers v. Seattle Mariners Photo by Liv Lyons/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a trade in the Music City.

Late Tuesday night in Nashville at the MLB Winter Meetings, the Pirates agreed to acquire left-handed starter Marco Gonzales from the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was first to report the deal. The Pirates will also receive cash in the move.

A former Seattle Mariner frontline starter, Gonzales was dealt alongside Jarred Kelenic to Atlanta on Sunday. Gonzales was thought to be moved in a salary dump by the Mariners.

Gonzales, 31, is owed $12.25 million in 2024 and has a $15 million club option for 2025. He signed a four-year, $30 million extension with Seattle during the heart of his Mariners career. The lefty will turn 32 before the regular season. Gonzales owns a 65-49 record, 4.14 ERA, and 1.29 WHIP in 163 career games (155 starts).

He pitched in St. Louis for two and a half years before being traded to the Pacific Northwest. Gonzales won 16 games in 2019 during his age-27 campaign and made an MLB-best 34 starts. He totaled a 3.99 ERA and 147 strikeouts in a career-best 203 innings.

Gonzales was fantastic in 2020 (2.10 ERA in 69.2 innings) and performed well in 2021 (3.96 ERA in 143.1 innings). He won 10 games in 2022 but also lost an AL-high 15 games with a 4.13 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

The Mariners moved off Gonzales following only 10 starts and a 5.22 ERA in 50 innings. He walked 18, struck out 34 in his final year as a Mariner, but dealt with forearm issues throughout the season. Gonzales was named Seattle’s nominee for the prestigious Clemente Award.

Not a significant strikeout pitcher, he utilizes a fastball, curveball, and changeup mix with an occasional cutter. Gonzales’ chase percentage is in the 81st percentile and 73rd in barrel percentage.

Adding Gonzales, with money being sent in addition, adds a much-needed starter to the rotation. It’s also a bonus that he adds a left-handed approach in a right-handed heavy system. Gonzales joins Mitch Keller as one of the only surefire bets to crack the opening-day roster, baring clean sheets of health. Paul Skenes, Roansy Contreras, Quinn Priester, Luis Ortiz, and others will also factor into the pitching plans.