The Cardinals added a wanted arm for the spin and took in a veteran assistant Monday night, announcing a trade within the division that will leave them left-handed. Jose Quintana and right Chris Stratton from pirates. In return, the pirate receives the right Johan Oviedo And the third player in the secondary league Malcolm Nunez.
Quintana was an obvious commercial candidate, as he’s an imminent free agent at FC Pittsburgh with no chance of making it to post-season in 2022. The Bucs were sure to pass him on for some players who could help after this season, and as a hired player, there’s no reason Pittsburgh worries about his transfer to a rival in the band.
Cards flew into the market in search of weapons of higher impact, with the former Oakland ace Frankie Montas It is said to be a primary goal. Once Montas was dealt a first-class finish to the Yankees, it appeared the cards were pivotal to a low-cost veteran stabilizer for the back of the starting team. Quintana is no longer the middle arm he was at his peak, and is the type of bowler the club would target for a playoff start. However, he has had a good rebound season in Pittsburgh after struggling in 2021.
Quintana has made 20 pirate starts, and is running on a 3.50 ERA. He’s been averaging over five innings per outing, averaging 103 shots per season. The protected role—in which Pittsburgh limited it to a opposing lineup for the third time at first—helped veteran Southpaw, but his production did well on an average basis. Quintana’s 20.6% hit average is a little below average, but he’s had swing hits on 11.2% of his shows. He’s also made floors on 45% above average from hits – a trait that was attractive to Cards’ front office given the team’s solid defense – and only 7.2% of opponents walked.
Quintana’s addition addresses a rotation that has had two notable injuries in recent weeks. Jack Flaherty He has been put off again after facing renewed shoulder fears, although the cards are hoping he can make a comeback later this month. Off-season signature Stephen Matz, meanwhile, has tore MCL in his left knee and may miss the rest of the season. While he hasn’t been officially left out for the year, Chief of Baseball Operations John Mozillac recently said Derek Gold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch That it would be “very, very difficult” to put it back on the pile in 2022.
Cardinals adds Quintana to a rotation that also includes Adam WainwrightAnd the Dakota HudsonAnd the Miles Micholas upward Andre Balant. The cards have a high probability Matthew Liberator As a depth option, but fell back into the active year-round menu. Meanwhile, Pallante has spent a good portion of the season at the Bullpen and could be up for innings. Even with a hopeful late-season return from Flaherty, the Cardinal could still consider another pickup in rotation in addition to the Quintana.
Meanwhile, Stratton is giving cards to a veteran mitigator who has worked in a leveraged role with the Buccaneers for the past few seasons. He sits on an ugly 5.09 ERA in 2022 but was a solid member of the Bulls in 2020-21.
This year’s struggles came in large part due to an average swell of 365 balls in play against Stratton, who actually has a low walking rate of 7.2% to date. The previous first-round pick saw his strike rate drop from 25.5% last season to 20.4% in 2022, but his 12.2% swing strike rate is well in line with last year’s mark and his opponents’ 37.3% field-chasing rate. Painting is career best (and is north of the league average). It’s also a perpetual turn-rate darling, and 2022 is no exception. Stratton tops every Major League Baseball in fastball turnover this season, and his curve ball turnover hours to the 99th percentile.
All in all, Stratton looks like a nice recovery candidate, especially once he’s moved from the 24th-ranked Pirates club in the Majors with -12 above-average Outs (per Statcast) to the third-ranked Cardinals club with a +19 collective mark in the same category . As a bonus, Stratton will remain in control of the team into the 2023 season via refereeing.
It’s an affordable maneuver for the Cardinals, with 33-year-old Quintana only guaranteeing $2 million this season and Stratton earning a similar salary of $2.7 million. The last few months of these payrolls won’t have much of an impact on the outlook for St. Louis payrolls for the remainder of the year.
Moving to the end of the pirate exchange, they will add an immediate major league option to their 24-year-old Oviedo staff, who has scored MLB time with the Cardinal in each of the past three seasons. The 2022 campaign is the first in which he has enjoyed above-average results, but he has been impressive in the championship role this season after struggling as a starter in 2020-21. By 25 1/3 innings, Oviedo has a 3.20 Era with a 24.1% strike rate, 6.5% extra strong walk rate and 43.2% ball rate.
Oviedo has had his career best 95.6 mph speed this season after transitioning to a multi-turn relief role, and he is practicing his career best stroke and opponent chase rates (13.3% and 33.9%, respectively). The Buccaneers could contemplate the idea of bringing him back to the starting role, but Oviedo has taken a heavy blow as a rookie in both the Triple-A and Majors up until this point in his career. Moving to the Bullpen might be his best role going forward, and if that’s the case, he could be a member of the Pittsburgh Bullpen for years to come. Oviedo will finish the season with less than two years in MLB service, which means he can be in control for five years beyond the current season.
Nunez, 21, was the Cardinals’ 13th potential player in the US baseball’s mid-season update to their potential rankings. He’s on his second Double-A duty and more productive this time, hitting .255/.360/.463 with 17 big flies in that jug-friendly spot. Nunez has walked a great clip at 13.7% and is coming out with a manageable 20.3%.
Scout reports about Nunez give him little chance of staying at third base, but the Cardinal have stressed improving his defense in recent years and continue to play with him in the hot corner. Nunez draws praise for his above-average to plus strength and above-average hit tool. Moving to first base or even a designated hitter might be in his future, but he adds an intriguing racket to the Pirates system – someone who could soon be Triple-A ready.
ESPN’s Jeff Bassan first reported that the Cardinals were finalizing the Quintana deal (Twitter link). Derek Gould of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the news that Stratton was also headed to St. Louis (on Twitter). Francis Romero reported the return of the pirates (Twitter link).