Pirates Trade Jose Quintana, Chris Stratton to Cardinals

The Cardinals added a needed hand to the rotation and picked up a veteran reliever on Monday evening, announcing an intra-division trade that would net them a lefty. Jose Quintana and right Chris Stratton from pirates. In return, the pirates are getting the right johan oviedo and minor league third baseman Malcolm Nuejo,

Jose Quintana |  Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

Quintana was an obvious trade candidate, as he is an imminent free agent at the Pittsburgh club with no chance of reaching the postseason in 2022. The Books were certain to move him to some players that could help beyond this season, and as a rental player, there was no reason for Pittsburgh to be concerned about moving him to a division rival. Is.

With the former Oakland Ace, Cards has hit the market for high-impact weapons frankie montaso Allegedly a primary target. Once the A’s handed Montas to the Yankees, it looks like the cards are set for a low-cost veteran stabilizer for the backs of the starting staff. Quintana is no longer the mid-rotation arm he was at his peak, the kind of pitcher that would aim to start a club playoff game. Still, he had a good bounceback season at Pittsburgh after struggling in 2021.

Quintana has 20 starts for pirates, working in the 3.50 era. He averaged a hair just above five innings per outing, tallying 103 frames in the season. The dependent role – in which Pittsburgh has initially limited his exposure to opposing lineup for a third time – has assisted the veteran southpaw, but his production has been good on a rate basis. Quintana’s 20.6% strike rate is slightly below average, but has propelled swinging strikes on a solid 11.2% of its offerings. He has also scored grounders at a little over 45% of the balls batted – a feature that has been appealing to the Cards front office in light of the team’s strong infield defense – and has only passed 7.2% of opponents.

Adding Quintana addresses a rotation that has been hit with some notable injuries in recent weeks. jack flaherty The season has been postponed once again after battling with renewed shoulder concerns, although Cards hopes he can return later this month. off season signer steven matzo, meanwhile, tore MCL in his left knee and could miss the rest of the season. Although he has not been officially ruled out for the year, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliac recently stated Derrick Gould of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch That it would be “very, very difficult” to get him back on a mound in 2022.

The Cardinals add Quintana to a rotation that also includes Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolaso and cheaters Andre Palante, the card has the top probability Matthew Liberatore As a depth option, but he tends to bounce and ff on an active roster throughout the year. Meanwhile, Palante has spent a good chunk of the season in the bullpen and could be on the boundary of an innings. The Cardinals may still look at another rotation pickup in addition to Quintana, despite Flaherty expected to return late in the season.

Chris Stratton |  Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

Stratton, meanwhile, gives the Cards a veteran reliever who has worked with the Pirates in the role of leverage for the past few seasons. He is sitting on an ugly 5.09 ERA in 2022 but was a rock-solid member of the bullpen in 2020-21.

This year’s struggles have come in large part due to a bloated .365 average on balls playing against Stratton, who has actually been playing at a career-low 7.2% running rate so far. The former first-round pick has clocked a strike rate of up to 20.4% from last season’s 25.5% in 2022, but his 12.2% swing-strike rate is in line with last year’s mark and his 37.3% chase rate on opponents’ pitches is off Is. Plate is a career-best (and well north of the league average). He’s also a perennial spin-rate darling, and 2022 is no exception. Stratton leads all Major League Baseball in fastball spin rates this season, and the spin rate on his curveball clocks is in the 99th percentile.

Overall, Stratton looks like a good rebound candidate, especially once he moves from a Pirates club that is ranked 24th in a Cardinals club with a -12 outs average (per statcast) in the Majors. Collective is in third place with +19 points. Same category. As a bonus, Stratton will remain in control of the team through arbitration into the 2023 season.

It’s an economical gamble for the Cardinals, as 33-year-old Quintana is only guaranteed $2MM this season and Stratton is earning the same $2.7MM salary. The final few months of those payrolls won’t have much impact on St. Louis’ payroll outlook for the rest of the year.

Turning to the Pirates’ end of the swap, they will add an immediate big league option to their staff in Oviedo, 24-year-old who has logged MLB time with the Cardinals in each of the last three seasons. The 2022 campaign is the first in which he has enjoyed above-average results, but he has been impressive in a bullpen role this season after struggling as a starter in 2020-21. Through 25 1/3 innings, Oviedo owns a 3.20 ERA with a 24.1% strike rate, a very strong 6.5% walk rate and a 43.2% ground-ball rate.

Oviedo averages a career-best 95.6 mph on his heater this season after moving into a multi-inning relief role, and he’s playing career-best swinging-strike and opponents chase rates (13.3% and 33.9%, respectively) . The Pirates may have entertained the idea of ​​taking him back to an early role, but Oviedo has been hit hard so far in his career as a starter in both Triple-A and Majors. Heading to the Bullpen may be the best role for him going forward, and if so he could be a member of the Pittsburgh Bullpen for years to come. Oviedo will finish the season with less than two years of MLB service, meaning he could be handled after five years from the current season.

Nunez, 21, was the Cardinals’ No. 13 prospect on Baseball America’s midseason update of their potential rankings. He is in his second stint at the Double-A level and is enjoying its more productive experience this time around, hitting .255/.360/.463 with 17 big flies in that pitcher-friendly setting. Nez has made a hearty clip of 13.7% and is striking at a manageable 20.3%.

Scouting reports on Nez give him little chance of staying at third base, but the Cardinals have focused on improving their defense in recent years and continue to play hot corners. The Nunez receives praise for above-average to plus power and potentially above-average hit tools. His future may be a move to first base or even designated hitter, but he adds an interesting bat to the Pirate system—one that could soon be ready for Triple-A level.

ESPN’s Jeff Passon was the first to report that the Cardinals were finalizing the Quintana deal (twitter linkDerrick Gould of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the news that Stratton was also moving to St. Louis (on twitter) Francis Romero reports the return of the pirates (twitter link,

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