By Rob Rains
While still in the mix to make potentially bigger deals before Tuesday’s deadline, the Cardinals completed a trade with the Pirates on Monday night for lefthanded starter Jose Quintana.
The Cardinals had made it clear they hoped to add at least one starting pitcher if not two before the trading deadline of 5 p.m. St. Louis time. They also obtained righthanded reliever Chris Stratton in the deal.
In exchange for the 33-year-old Quintana and Stratton, 31, the Cardinals agreed to send righthander Johan Oviedo and minor-league first baseman Malcom Nunez, who was at Double A Springfield, to the Pirates.
Quintana has had a solid season for the Pirates, going 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts. He has pitched in the majors since 2012 and will be eligible to be a free agent at the end of the season.
Quintana has a career ERA of 3.81 in 303 major-league games, 277 of them starts. He will take the rotation spot of Steven Matz, who is expected to miss most if not all of the rest of the season because of a knee injury he suffered on July 23 in hisfirst start after coming off the injured list because of a shoulder injury.
Oviedo, 24, has split this season between Triple A and the Cardinals and after struggling with his control as a starter has had more success recently pitching out of the bullpen. He likely will get a chance to start with the Pirates.
Nunez, who also plays third base, was ranked by MLB.com as the number 10 prospect in the Cardinals farm system. The 21-year-old has 17 homers and 66 RBIs while posting a .255 average in 85 games at Springfield.
The Cardinals also said catcher Austin Romine had been designated for assignment in advance of Yadier Molina’s expected return on Tuesday night.
The trade for Quintana does not involve any of the current major-leaguers or prospects who have been rumored to be in the trade discussions with the Nationals regarding outfielder Juan Soto.
Several national media outlets reported the three teams still in the mix to acquire Soto were the Cardinals, Padres and Dodgers.
This is the second trade the Cardinals have completed in advance of the deadline. On Saturday they sent backup infielder Edmundo Sosa to the Phillies for lefthanded reliever JoJo Romero, who was assigned to Memphis.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports