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USATSI

The St. Louis Cardinals on Monday acquired veteran left-handed starting pitcher Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a four-player trade. Both teams have announced the deal. 

Quintana, 33, has pitched to a 3.50 ERA/119 ERA+ and a 2.87 K/BB ratio across 20 starts and 103 innings this season for the Pirates. Those outputs constitute a rebound for Quintana, who in 2021 had an ERA north of 6.00 in a mix of rotation and bullpen work for the Angels and Giants. Early in his career with the White Sox, Quintana was a regular purveyor of 200-inning seasons and better-than-average run-prevention numbers, but following a trade to the Cubs he seemed to enter a premature decline phase. This season he’s regained effectiveness, in part because of increased use of his changeup. 

Quintana is on a one-year contract worth $2 million, so he’s a “rental” acquisition by the Cardinals. 

While the Cardinals, according to many reports, are prominently in the mix for Juan Soto of the Nationals, rotation is a clear deadline priority as St. Louis tries to secure a playoff berth down the stretch. Shoulder woes have limited Jack Flaherty to just three starts this season, and he’s likely sidelined until September. Meantime, free-agent addition Steven Matz may miss the rest of the season with a torn MCL in his left knee. Of late, the Cardinals have been working with a four-man rotation thanks to well timed off days. 

Right-hander Chris Stratton is also going to the Cardinals in the trade. Stratton, who turns 32 later in August, has worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen for the Pirates since they acquired him in 2019. Over that span, he’s put up a 3.98 ERA in 162 relief appearances and one start. 

Right-hander Johan Oviedo and third base prospect Malcom Nunez are going to the Pirates in the trade. Oviedo, 24, has put up a 3.20 ERA in 13 relief appearances and one start for the Cardinals this season. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 86 in 19 starts and 14 relief appearances spread across three big-league seasons for St. Louis. Nunez, 21, owns a slash line of .280/.366/.465 with 41 home runs in 276 minor-league games. This season, he’s put up an OPS of .823 at Double-A Springfield. MLB.com ranked Nunez as the No. 10 prospect in a deep Cardinals system. 

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