The St. Louis Cardinals are finalizing a deal to acquire left-hander Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN on Monday night.
Quintana, 33, had bounced around and battled ineffectiveness the previous two seasons before finding his footing with Pittsburgh this year. A control pitcher, Quintana, who struggled in 2021, has improved more so in 2022, throwing 103 innings of 3.50 ERA baseball with 89 strikeouts and 31 walks.
The last-place Pirates signed Quintana for $2 million in the offseason. He’s now going to a division rival whose pitching depth had taken significant hits with recent injuries to one of their most talented starters, Jack Flaherty (shoulder), and Steven Matz, who the Cardinals invested a lot of money in this offseason, but has yet to pan out.
Stratton, 31, is 5-4 with a 5.09 ERA this season, but also has 37 strikeouts and -0.4 WAR.
The Cardinals had inquired across a broad spectrum of starters but landed on Quintana to slot in with Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Dakota Hudson and Andre Pallante s, who earlier Monday traded their All-Star closer, Josh Hader, to the San Diego Padres.
In return, the Pirates receive Johan Oviedo. Oviedo is a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher, is primarily a reliever. This year, he has a 3.20 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 1.30 WHIP and a 26:7 SO/BB ratio in 25.1 innings this year. Over three partial seasons in the majors, he has a 4.65 ERA/5.01 FIP in 112.1 innings, with a 1.47 WHIP and a 93:54 SO/BB ratio.
Malcom Nunez was ranked as a 10th best prospect for the Cardinals by MLB Pipeline and 13th best by Baseball America. He is 21 years old, standing 5’11”. 205 pounds. He’s playing in Double-A this year in the Texas League, where he’s hitting .255/.360/.463 in 85 games, with 11 doubles, 17 homers, 48 walks and 71 strikeouts in 350 plate appearances.
The Texas League is a more hitter-friendly league than the Eastern League (Altoona), and Nunez ranks 32nd in the ten-team league in OPS among players with at least 200 plate appearances. Nunez was heavily scouted by the Pirates before they passed on signing him, then he signed for a lower priced deal with the Cardinals.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more updates.