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Pirates Add Rotation Piece in Trade with Braves

The Pittsburgh Pirates have just acquired Marco Gonzales and cash in a trade with the Atlanta Braves in exchange for a player to be named later according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

This is the second trade in as many days that Gonzales is a part of as the Braves traded for him, Evan White, and Jarred Kelenic from the Seattle Mariners.

Braves Trade Gonzales to Pirates

The Braves’ Active Offseason

Atlanta has been very active this offseason in the trade market. They traded Kyle Wright to the Kansas City Royals, Nick Anderson to the Royals in a separate deal, and five players, headlined by Michael Soroka, to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Bummer. It is clear the Braves are making moves to make sure they remain contenders in 2024. Bummer is a solid addition to their bullpen, and someone they will really need to step up in 2024. Kelenic has not been great in his career, but the Braves are hoping he will have a breakout season. Evan White will be a valuable platoon player on their bench.

Marco Gonzales and the Pittsburgh Pirates

The left-handed Gonzales will give the Pirates depth in their starting rotation. In 2023, Gonzales made 10 starts, had a 5.22 ERA, and 1.460 WHIP in 50 innings pitched. The Pirates currently have a rotation consisting of JT Brubaker, Mitch Keller, Bailey Falter, Johan Oviedo, and Quinn Priester. However, Gonzales should be able to compete for a spot at the back end of the rotation.

The reason Gonzales only made 10 starts in 2023 is because he was shut down in late May. After a couple of months of not fixing the problem, Gonzales underwent forearm surgery. The surgery was meant to decompress a nerve that was causing problems in his pronation and index finger. Gonzales is expected to be ready to go by spring training, though.

Gonzales has been traded twice because of his salary. This is also the reason Atlanta sent cash along with him to Pittsburgh. According to Spotrac, Gonzales is owed around $12 million for the 2024 season, and he has a club option for another $15 million in 2025. He is not necessarily a one-year rental, but he will not be making that $15 million in 2025 without a good season in 2024.

With all that said, the Pirates had one of the worst pitching staffs in the MLB last season. Adding Gonzales is not a blockbuster move by any means. However, he should give the Pirates some competitiveness in the back end of their rotation if he is healthy.


Photo Credit: © Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


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