After missing out on Frankie Montas, the St. Louis Cardinals have pivoted to an in-division foe, sending Johan Oviedo and Malcolm Nunez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Jose Quintana and RHP Chris Stratton.
Quintana was signed to a one-year deal this offseason by Pittsburgh and has had a renaissance season. The veteran southpaw has a BB/9 under of 2.7 and batters have an OPS against him under .700 for the first time since 2016. He may not be an ace, but Quintana can be a solid starter in the back of a contending rotation. St. Louis also brings in Stratton, a reliever with high spin rates who has been unlucky this season. He has a high ERA but a FIP more in line with his recent seasons. His 11.1 H/9 shouldn’t continue, especially with the strong Cardinals infield defense.
Quintana, 33, has a 3.50 ERA with 89 strikeouts, a 3.24 FIP, and a 1.272 WHIP in 103 innings pitched this season. In his career for the Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants, Quintana has a 3.81 ERA with 1484 strikeouts, a 3.66 FIP, and a 1.284 WHIP in 1661 innings pitched.
Stratton, 31, has a 5.09 ERA with 37 strikeouts, a 3.61 FIP, and a 1.549 WHIP in 40.2 innings pitched this season. In his career for the Pirates, Giants, and Angels, Stratton has a 4.61 ERA, 400 strikeouts, a 4.20 FIP, and a 1.458 WHIP in 439.2 innings pitched.
Quintana was one of the top starters on the trade market, so the return is significant. Oviedo started games for St. Louis last year, but has mostly been a reliever in 2022. His numbers have been solid in the majors, but he has not been good when he was being stretched out in the minors. MLB Pipeline ranked Nunez as the 10th best prospect in the Cardinals’ system. He is very young and has shown some pop at AA, with a .463 slugging.
Oviedo, 24, has a 3.20 ERA with 26 strikeouts, a 1.303 WHIP, and a 4.07 FIP in 25.1 innings this year. In his MLB career, he has a 4.65 ERA with 93 strikeouts, a 5.01 FIP, and a 1.469 WHIP in 112.1 innings pitched.
Nunez, 21, has hit 17 home runs with a .823 OPS in 350 Plate Appearances at AA this season. In his MiLB career, he has hit 41 home runs with an OPS of .831 in 1147 Plate Appearances.