Cardinals strike deal for Jose Quintana

The Cardinals finalize deal to acquire starter Joseph Quintana of the Pirates, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link). St. Louis has been on the hunt for additions to their starting rotation and they are nearing an agreement to add an opponent within the division.

Quintana was an obvious swap candidate, as he is an imminent free agent at a Pittsburgh club that has no chance of making it into the postseason in 2022. to worry about moving him to a division rival.

The cards have kicked around the market for higher impact weapons, featuring former Oakland ace Frankie Montas reportedly a primary target. Once the A’s dealt Montas to the Yankees, it looks like the cards turned into a cheaper veteran stabilizer for the back of the starting staff. Quintana is no longer the top center rotation arm he was at his peak, the kind of pitcher a club would target to start a playoff game. Still, he’s had quite the rebound season in Pittsburgh after struggling in 2021.

Quintana has made 20 starts for the Pirates and is working towards a 3.50 ERA. He only averages a hair over five innings per game, which equates to 103 frames per season. The sheltered role — in which Pittsburgh limited its exposure to opposing lineups for the third time in the beginning — helped the experienced left-hander, but his production was good on a rate basis. Quintana’s 20.6% is a little below average, but he caused swinging strikes at a solid 11.2% of his supply. He also generated grounders on a slightly above average 45% of batted balls – a trait that made the Cards front attractive in light of the team’s strong infield defense – and walked just 7.2% of opponents .

Adding Quintana focuses on a rotation that has been hit with some notable injuries in recent weeks. Jack Flaherty will be out until at least August after battling newfound shoulder issues. Signee out of season Steven Matzo, meanwhile, the MCL tore his left knee and could miss the rest of the season. While he has not been officially banned for the year, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak recently told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it would be “very, very difficult” to get him back on a hill by 2022.

The Cardinals add Quintana to a rotation that also includes: Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolas and rookie André Pallante. The cards have Matthew Liberatore as a depth option, but it bounces on and off the active roster throughout the year. Pallante, meanwhile, has spent much of the season in the bullpen. Even with Flaherty’s hopeful return in the late season, the Cardinals could still consider another rotational pick-up alongside Quintana.

It’s an affordable bet for the Cardinals, as the 33-year-old is guaranteed to get just $2MM this season. The last few months of that deal won’t have much impact on St. Louis’s wage outlook for the rest of the year.

More to come.

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