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 year for the Pirates. Those outputs constitute a rebound for Quintana, who in 2021 had a time north of 6.00 in a variety of rotation and bullpen work with the Angels and Giants. Early in his career with the White Sox, Quintana was a normal purveyor of 200-inning seasons and better-than-average run-prevention numbers, but carrying out a trade to the Cubs he appeared to enter a premature decline phase. This year he’s regained effectiveness, partly due to increased usage of his changeup.
Quintana is on a one-year contract worth $2 million, so he’s a “rental” acquisition by the Cardinals.
As the Cardinals, in accordance with many studies, are prominently in the mix for Juan Soto of the Nationals, rotation is really 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 year, and he’s likely sidelined until September. Meantime, free-agent addition Steven Matz may skip the remaining season with a torn MCL in his left knee. Lately, the Cardinals have already been dealing with a four-man rotation because of well timed off days.
Right-hander Chris Stratton can be likely to the Cardinals in the trade. Stratton, who turns 32 later in August, spent some time working almost exclusively from the bullpen for the Pirates given that they acquired him in 2019. Over that span, he’s set up a 3.98 ERA in 162 relief appearances and something start.
Right-hander Johan Oviedo and third base prospect Malcom Nunez are likely to the Pirates in the trade. Oviedo, 24, has set up a 3.20 ERA in 13 relief appearances and something start for the Cardinals this year. 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 type of .280/.366/.465 with 41 home runs in 276 minor-league games. This year, he’s set up an OPS of .823 at Double-A Springfield. MLB.com ranked Nunez because the No. 10 prospect in a deep Cardinals system.