Pirates Trade Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton to St Louis Cardinals

According to Jeff Passan and confirmed by others, the Pittsburgh Pirates are trading left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana to the St Louis Cardinals. More to come as soon as information becomes available.

Quintana was a free agent signing this off-season on a one-year deal, so it’s possible that he returns to the Pirates next year. During his time in Pittsburgh, he went 3-5, 3.50 in 20 starts, with a 1.27 WHIP, a 3.24 FIP and a 89:31 SO/BB ratio in 103 innings.

There are reports from a reliable source that the Pirates are getting pitcher Johan Oviedo and 1B/3B Malcom Nunez from the Cardinals. NOTHING IS FINALIZED/OFFICIAL YET, but here are looks at those two players.

Johan Oviedo is a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher, who has started in the past, but he’s pitching in relief this year. He comes with five years on control and has a 3.20 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 1.30 WHIP and a 26:7 SO/BB ratio in 25.1 innings this year. Over three partial seasons in the majors, he has a 4.65 ERA/5.01 FIP in 112.1 innings, with a 1.47 WHIP and a 93:54 SO/BB ratio.

Nunez is ranked as a 10th best prospect for the Cardinals by MLB Pipeline and 13th best by Baseball America. He is 21 years old, standing 5’11”. 205 pounds. He’s playing in Double-A this year in the Texas League, where he’s hitting .255/.360/.463 in 85 games, with 11 doubles, 17 homers, 48 walks and 71 strikeouts in 350 plate appearances. He has played third base through most of his career, but a majority of his time has been at first base this year. The Texas League is a more hitter-friendly league than the Eastern League (Altoona),  and Nunez ranks 32nd in the ten-team league in OPS among players with at least 200 plate appearances. Nunez was heavily scouted by the Pirates before they passed on signing him, then he signed for a lower priced deal with the Cardinals.

Derrick Goold, who covers the Cardinals for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, is reporting that Chris Stratton is also included in the deal. He notes here that nothing is finalized yet

UPDATE: The deal has been confirmed. Quintana and Stratton for Oviedo and Nunez. Stratton has one more year left before free agency, but it would have been unlikely that he was back with the Pirates unless he had a resurgence during the final two months. He’s getting $2.7M this year and he has a 5.09 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP in 40.2 innings.

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PiratePrimate

If Yoshi Tsutsugo is still on the Pirates roster tonight at 6pm then someone needs to call the Pirates and have a long, long talk with Bob and Ben. Try to explain to them, in a nice way, what idiots they look like. Try to explain to them how sad all this looks. Maybe they just don’t understand how bad all this smells.

jtkuch

Don’t forget JVM, he’s even more of a head scratcher. Yoshi at least has money tied down and is at a position of need, JVM has neither of those going for him and is performing similarly bad

jaygray007

What do we think, folks? Experiment in 2023 with oviedo as a starter, or take the relatively sure thing of him being a good bullpen guy?

For me, ideally they try to win in 2023, sign a few real sps, and have the luxury of putting him in the pen.

Realistically, payroll will be 50 and they’ll try to eek a 4.5 ERA out of him as a SP.

KirkV12

I agree, put him in the pen as a 2-3 inning reliever. They have had some success with guys of that ilk this year, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Oviedo as a Wil Crowe-type relief pitcher. In fact, I would much prefer it to seeing him as a Wil Crowe-type starting pitcher.

We have plenty of mediocre starting options. I don’t think we need to experiment with finding more Zach Thompsons. In 2023 we can open with a rotation of Brubaker, Keller, Burrows, Thompson, a mid-level free agent signing, and Cody Bolton/Bryse Wilson as depth. Then build out a good bullpen led by Bednar with some shutdown middle relievers led by Crowe and Oviedo (maybe a Dillon Peters bounce back as well?)

Hopefully Nunez becomes the answer at 1B, and hopefully he establishes himself there quickly. I could see him starting for us by beginning of next year. He’s good enough to envision as a starter, but not so good that they’ll be forced to keep him down past super 2.

TNBucs

I think his offseason and spring training work should be planned as if he’s going to be a starter, and then see if he can beat out Thompson, Wilson, Crowe, Bolton, others? for a spot in the rotation.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Looking across Oviedo’s numbers and metrics, I don’t see too much to get excited about. He just throws hard. I’m actually rather blown away looking at his Statcast numbers how much of his stuff just clusters around average. I think he’s a guy ticketed for long relief/multi-innings, and we’ll see if Marin can pull something out of him.

As for Nunez? I don’t think he even gets Rule 5 protected this year. Unless he proves he can hit for power outside of heavy hitters parks.

TNBucs

Just as Suwinski was protected last year, I think Nunez will be this year. Part of that is due to the potential embarrassment of losing a guy you just traded for but it is more based on belief in the bat.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

If he hits well in Altoona, it’s possible. But idk. Hard to justify protecting a guy already projected as a DH with a Vogelbach comp.

TNBucs

If you want to dream, here’s a graphic from Statcast that has some interesting names (of course Oviedo’s numbers come from a SSS):

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/affinity-pitchers-bySHV#players=pitchers&player=670912-R&s=0.6

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

You’re gonna have to explain what I’m looking at lol is it saying Oviedo closely aligns with Senzatela and Marquez?

TNBucs

Yes, but also somewhat close to Keller, Scherzer, and Flaherty in terms of velocity and movement of their assortment of pitches. Click on the About icon towards the upper right as it gives a good explanation of how they come up with the graphic.

jaygray007

On the other hand, they could get payroll to 100, sign two well above average starters, and have holderman bednar oviedo and probably one more acquisition make up a solid back end

roibert.kasperski

Yerry in the mix as well 🙂

NMR

WE HAS ALL YOUR OVIEDO’S.

KirkV12

I have historically been very underwhelmed by Cheringtons trades. The Musgrove and Taillon trades were solid, but the Bell deal was a joke where we sold at the lowest possible point, Adam Frazier deal was underwhelming, stallings should have netted more, and even the Marte-Peguero trade felt like a low return for a cost controlled, long term deal all star.

I like this deal. Quintana has been very good, not great, for half a season. We had maybe 10 more starts from him before he was gone anyway. And in return we got a top-10 for the Cards (top-15 for us) prospect at a position of need who could start next season on the ML club. He’s young for his level and hits for good power. We also upgraded on Stratton with an ML-ready reliever who is cheaper and has more years of control. All within the division so that we HAVE these guys, instead of playing against them.

In 3 months we will much prefer being on this side of the deal. And unless the Cards win a WS with Quintana, we will have won the trade

ArkyWags

That last statement is a ridiculous way to look at trades. For both sides.

Also Frazier wasn’t really worth a whole lot, and neither was Stallings. Look at how both of those guys are performing now.

roibert.kasperski

Everyone in the league knew that Frazier and Stallings were having career years and as it turns out, they were. I love Suwinski and Marcano is no worse than Frazier and could be a very good utility guy. Stallings fell off a cliff this season and we got a serviceable starter in Thompson and the jury is still out on Scott and Nicolas. Either could easily turn out to be pretty good all for a catcher who was due to regress and he did. No complaints on those trades from me.

TNBucs

I like what I’ve read about the return. It might be a little less than hoped for if we project Quintana to continue performing the way he has, but his innings count is so much higher than the sum from his last two seasons (103 this season vs. a combined 73 from ’20-’21) that the Cardinals are taking on the risk that he runs out of gas. So with that, I think it’s a good return.

I also expect Stratton to perform well with them–he had some bad luck this season and will have a better defense behind him. But I also think Oviedo might do very well with us. In any case, it will be a good measuring stick for our analysts, professional scouts, and coaching staff–we know the Cards would be very hesitant to give up someone who could come back to haunt them and they know their players much better than anyone else, but maybe their focus on winning now will help us later.

jon6er

I think most of Stratton’s bad luck was Shelton using him in situations he shouldn’t have been used in.

Catch_22

Yeah, it’s Shelton’s fault that his babip is .365

mikeschalke

No matter what situation he did not pitch very well.

jeffw3000

I agree. Stratton’s bad luck was he was not pitching well this year. I did not like when Shelton was using him in high leverage situations, but that is not the bad luck that made him pitch poorly. You can’t blame that on Shelton. I have liked Stratton in the past, but it may have been time for him to go.

TNBucs

I’m mainly basing my statement on stats that MLBTR highlights, but it’s also consistent with my impression from watching–I still liked his stuff when he came in but the results were maddening and like most fans I wanted him moved out of high leverage situations sooner than he was. In any case, from MLBTR:

This year’s struggles have come in large part due to a bloated .365 average on balls in play against Stratton, who’s actually sporting a career-low 7.2% walk rate so far. The former first-round pick has seen his strikeout rate dip from last season’s 25.5% to 20.4% in 2022, but his 12.2% swinging-strike rate is right in line with last year’s mark and his 37.3% opponents’ chase rate on pitches off the 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 of Major League Baseball in fastball spin rate this season, and the spin rate on his curveball clocks into the 99th percentile.”

RAS TN

2 more to eventually add to the Rule 5 list..bottom line this is a salary dump…

leefieux

A 2 mil salary is a dump?

RAS TN

Well, let’s see you trade your best SP for a hope and a prayer so if it’s not a salary dump then the one that made this trade happen should be committed or at least fired…

Rob Baran

I have a weird prediction – the Bucs will spend over 20mil on free agents this Winter. Part of that will come from these $’s being saved.

roibert.kasperski

Quintana is a FA and Stratton would be gone anyway due to running out of gas the last 2 seasons. If the either Nunez and or Oviedo are any good at all, than worth a 40 man for next year. Not really a dump in my mind because they are not losing anything for the future

RAS TN

A lot of ifs, but that’s the Pirate way…keep the wheels churning for that all elusive promised land…

NMR

Roster churn is exactly how every single small to mid market with any sort of extended history of winning succeeds.

The key, now trust me on this, is to acquire better players than you drop.

#analysis

juniorkrz

Then me thinks, follow me on this, the Bucs are in trouble. 🙂

roibert.kasperski

No ifs on the players that left. Quintana is a FA and no ifs that he was going to be gone anyway after this season. Stratton has broken down beginning last season. No ifs that he would be done as a Pirate after this season based on his body of work the last 2 years. Yes, traded for prospects but I would rather have 2 young guys with some promise for 2 guys who would be leaving after this season any way than have those two guys leave and have nothing to show for them going.

emjayinTN

I started with 13 names on a list. So far, 5 are gone – Tucker, M Perez, Vogie, Quintana, and Stratton. Left to be traded or DFA’d – Underwood, Newman, Allen, Tsutsugo, Marisnick, VanMeter, Gamel, Chavis.

Newman, Underwood, Gamel, and Chavis could stay through 2022, but their value is at it’s highest point right now.

The 14th name, and possibly the most important to unload, is Derek Shelton!.

KirkV12

I don’t think Chavis fits in this group just yet. He still has value to the team and would be solid as a lefty-only platoon guy if only we had any viable left handed hitting 1B to pair with him.

Otherwise I agree. All those players should be jettisoned. Gamel and Newman could stick around if there’s no suitors to trade for them, as they’re productive enough. Underwood, Tsutsugo, Marisnick, and VanMeter should all be DFAd asap.

redwards60

I am very surprised the Pirates could not move Gamel, Chavis, Newman, Crowe. The worst part of the Quintana trade is that Bryce Wilson stays in the rotation, thanks to our genius GM and talent evaluator.

KirkV12

We have no reason to trade Crowe, he’s our second best reliever and has years of cheap team control. He can be a meaningful piece of the next contending Pirates team in ~2024

bmm0jbq

Deadline is today

ArkyWags

Red doesn’t trifle himself with important details like that.

Catch_22

Wonder why they call him Red?

redwards60

Well, the annual dumping of their dwindling marketable assets has come and gone. There were some who had delusions of grandeur when it came to projecting what the Pirates could get for Quintana. This return was closer to what could be expected. Too bad the Pirates could not or would not resign him. To me the biggest plus of this trade was not the return, but also unloading Stratton. Yes, he was very good last year but last year was a short term outlier compared to his career numbers. I don’t expect much from the players the Pirates got from the Cardinals…they were just spare parts not needed in St. Louis. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Deadline isn’t till 6 pm

ricramer

They still have most of today.

Cobra

Spring ‘21 Longenhagen on Oviedo. Pretty accurate forecast, impressive:

“ Oviedo was one of the not-quite-ready-for-primetime players pressed into major league duty last year because of the Cardinals’ COVID outbreak, and he struggled in a limited big league look. A hulking 6-foot-6, Oviedo has a workhorse starter’s build that comps to a young Josh Beckett, he throws really hard, and he flashes above-average breaking stuff. All of these components are present intermittently, but Oviedo just hasn’t leveled up as a strike-thrower yet, and his slider and curveball aren’t nasty enough to override his loose command; they need to be located. The same is true of Oviedo’s fastball. Even though it’s in the mid-90s and has something close to a backspinning axis, his size creates more downhill plane on the pitch than a fastball with these other traits wants to have. I’m pretty confident Oviedo’s going to be an integral part of a pitching staff eventually. At 23, it’s looking more like that will be in relief further down the line, though right now it makes more sense to have him stretched out as starter depth. His repertoire depth and starter pedigree make him a strong candidate to work in a four-to-six out role. (Alternate site, MLB)”

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-35-prospects-st-louis-cardinals/

john_fluharty

Where does Nunez land in our top 30?

Edit: just saaw that he only has a 278 BABIP this year, well below average. That may indicate that his average should be a little higher.

Last edited 7 days ago by john_fluharty
redwards60

His numbers this year are inflated by the Texas League.

emjayinTN

They are, but his number of Walks 48 to K’s 71 is excellent for a kid of 21 with 17 HR and 66 RBI’s in AA. The 994 Fielding percentage at 1B is also excellent regardless of league. Endy-like numbers.

James_Robert5

How does Oviedo compare with Mitch Keller?

Oviedo seems like another pitcher who would benefit from the addition of a 2-seamer

john_fluharty

I wonder how many more games the cards play against us this year. Q will probably have a 0.0 era against us. Not a bad trade I guess. Oviedo will probably join the Major League pen.

emjayinTN

I think it would be better to list Nunez as 1B/3B. He has started 60+ games at 1B for Springfield in AA with a 994 Fielding Percentage. Very few games at 3B. Excellent bat, hits for power – second on team with 17 HR, first in RBI with 66, excellent BB/K numbers.

Definite starter at 1B for AA Altoona, and a possible promotion to AAA as the starting 1B if they promote Mason Martin.

Kind of surprised nobody is calling for Newman as a 2B. Atlanta? He’d be a helluva lot better than their mis-adventure with Robinson Cano

leefieux

Why would they promote Martin?

jeffw3000

To reward all his hard work, and everything he has done to hit .194 this year.

hoptown

Not bad. About what I expected. Maybe slightly less but the market is yielding less than I expectes (Castillo trade aside).

CTBucco

Decent return for Q rental and Stratton in a down year. I would’ve liked to see them sweeten the pot with Castro and/or CSN to get Alec Burleson instead of Nunez. LHH and tearing up AAA.

I wonder if they tried to give us Luken Baker instead of Nuñez? Now there’s a Vogey comp. I like Nuñez better though.

Where will Nuñez go? Altoona to split 1B with Shackleford? Or maybe Shack moves up?

emjayinTN

With the numbers he is putting up at AA Springfield as a 21 year old – 255/360/463/823 OPS, 48 BB/ 71 K, 17 HR, 66 RBI,.994 Fielding at 1B in 68 games, IMO, he is a definite fit at AA to start and possibly a promotion to AAA later in the year when MM is promoted.

He’s Rule 5 after 2022, so he will be on the 40 by then, and possibly starting at 1B in 2023 at AAA.

Rob Baran

Wait – Mason Martin is going to get called up? Really? I think it’s pretty obvious to Mason Martin experiment is a failure unless he can significantly increase his walks AND significantly lower his k’s. That’s a tall ask in AAA.

KirkV12

Mason Martin should not get called up anytime soon. He has massive flaws that he’s been putting on display nightly for months now. That being said, I wouldn’t call him a failed experiment just yet. He’s only 23 in AAA, and has had flashes of real success at his best. I agree, it’s a tall task, but give him another year in Indy and see if he improves the BB/K, crazier things have happened.
While they should be patient with Martin, I would not block Nunez for the sake of giving more chances to Martin. Hopefully competition brings out the best in both of them (or at least one of them).

b mcferren

lame

steelforce71
piratemike

So, Ben made STL take Stratton to help pay Oviedo.

1979andCounting

Ben is hoping fans think this is Rule 5 Oviedo, whom he left unprotected and lost back to Cleveland. “No one will notice” Ben was overheard saying to Mozeliak.

ayukish2001

Some errors there. But not by Ben. I don’t know if a guy with a 6.43 ERA in AA is someone the fan base is going to be excited over.

ravidesai1984

Oviedo looks like a reliever with promise but looking at his stats last year it looks like he was a started until this yea. I hope there don’t try to turn him back into a starter.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oviedjo01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=&utm_medium=referral

ironmike56

Oviedo and Holderman yields make me think Ben is shopping Bednar. Note to Ben….offer Gonzales or Marcano with Bednar for one top prospect. We want a slugging first baseman.

Todd

Absolutely agree. The huge righty from the Mets will be up too

emjayinTN

Nunez has played 1B almost all year with excellent fielding and hitting/power stats, especially so for a 21 year old at AA.

jimmyz

This is certainly the optimist in me talking here but Oviedo and Holderman make me think Ben is trying to build out a bullpen to get to Bednar which is what good Gm’s on rebuilding clubs do when they start to push their chips in towards contending. This offseason could/should be the start of adding significant pieces, obviously not top tier guys that make huge money but quality starters instead of 26th man types, to begin establishing a core for the next 3-5 years.

Rob Baran

Yeah it’s obviously time for BC to begin actually building at the MLB level. And what better place to start than the Bullpen given he didn’t want to play our Big Chips (Reynolds & Bednar).

Now that the Bucs have obviously transitioned from getting higher upside A-ball kids to MLB ready Pitchers I think we can assume the tear-down phase is finally over. Probably….

Last edited 7 days ago by Rob Baran
emjayinTN

I agree with you and I hope we are both right.

piratemike

STL gets Stratton too.

steelforce71

Is Nunez really 21? Or is he Cuban math 21 ?

HeisenbergWW

21 in Tabata years

Wilbur Miller

“21 in Tabata years”

Damn that’s, what, 147?

ravidesai1984

With or without the neck lips? Those add a decade by themselves.

Cape Cod Sean

Can say the same thing about Oviedo. Is he 24 or is 24 in Cuban math.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

The market today seemed low in the morning when trades started popping off. So this probably was the value.

steelforce71

Least Johan has a funny jonboy video

Last edited 7 days ago by steelforce71
bucsws2014

That was tedious to watch for the 5 seconds of entertainment it provided.

tmcgowan

Link for the lazy guy typing here?

ravidesai1984

others (aka me) would like the link too.

steelforce71
docdon385

Just hope that Stratton doesn’t do a Clay Holmes when the Cardinals get hold of him. Don’t think I could take another reminder of how poorly the Pirates manage pitchers.

ayukish2001

Like Quintana?

piratemike

Damn there goes our chance at a wild card!

ricramer

You forgot to use sarcasm font.

SBRO

I like that BC is finally targeting relief pitching at a level above waiver wire fodder; until the farm starts producing hitters, this team is going to live or die with pitching.

tmcgowan

Hows about we get a PTBNL included as the 3rd player, and it turns out to be a recent 1st round draft pick that turns into a top 10 overall prospect 5 years later

roibert.kasperski

Can this one not have arm issues in his first full year in the majors?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I guess we’re getting rid of bodies at least?

jaygray007

So will oviedo be a frustrating starter or good reliever next yr? Leaning pen.

At least it bodes well that they’re trying to build a 2023 pen

Nunez bad: only hits lefties well, is probably just a dh

Nunez good: stinging the ball as a 21 yr old in AA and not striking out much is a good sign.

Can’t imagine they protect him in the rule 5 this winter

ravidesai1984

Just saw they were taking stratton off our hands too.

Wilbur Miller

“Just saw they were taking stratton‘s salary off our hands too.”

Let’s keep our priorities straight here.

ayukish2001

Why does it matter? All the better for the trade imo.

AdministrativeSky236

Already liked the deal and now i do even more

HeyFred

If the return is accurate, that’s more than I would’ve thought. Maybe an in-division premium?

ronzorn

I am a big Oviedo fan. Love the body type, he is huge. And only 24

agent00

still not confirmed……hmmmmmmm

ravidesai1984

May be some other team is swooping in with a better package? We can all dream right?

tmcgowan

Pirates seem to run a near leak free camp, so its probably cardinals leaking it early.

agent00

didn’t this sort of thing happen last year with anderson lol

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

If you want to like the trade, don’t look up Nunez’s Home/Road splits

waitwhat

If you want to like the trade, do look up Quintana’s home/road splits.

Mtgj

The last time we traded a lefty pitcher to the cardinals at the deadline, we got back a really good player.
Hopefully it works out as good this time.

James_Robert5

Who?

b mcferren

Jack Wilson

HeisenbergWW

Jason Christensen for Jack Wilson

ironmike56

Looking at the depth chart at SS and second and see 9 to 10 prospects. I’d keep Cruz, Bae, Peguero and Castillo. Then attach one of Gonzales, Marcano, Castro, Park to each of the Quintana, Bednar negotiations to improve the Pirates yield.

I want a slick fielding, power bat first baseman on the rise in AAA or blocked.
Who should we target to fill that gaping hole….

Last edited 7 days ago by ironmike56
AdministrativeSky236

Seems fine with me, what do yinz think?

TNBucs

Adding Oviedo to Bednar, Yerry, Holderman and whoever else earns a spot (Crowe, Underwood, Cederlind, …) gives me some optimism that our bullpen in ’23 will be decent.

1979andCounting

Nice bullpen piece. Nunez is a DH only.

Ardotcom2

Seems like a good trade for a rental

MaraudingBucs

The return is Johan Oviedo and Malcom Nuñez according to Francys Romero on Twitter

SBRO

Nuñez’s writeup in FG comps him to…Daniel Vogelbach.

tmcgowan

I was hoping for Juan Yepez when I heard it was being finalized.

peanutbutterguts

Nunez cardinals #10 prospect according to mlb pipeline. 17hrs in AA this year.

ravidesai1984

He’s listed at 18 in the cardinals system on fangraphs. I do like the power but hopefully he gets a taste of AAA soon since he spent a decent amount of time at AA last year too,

TNBucs

He’s only 21 though, so there’s plenty of time.

ravidesai1984

True. It looks like fangraphs sees him as dh only, but other places see him as being able to field 1B,

TNBucs

In his write-up on Nunuz (from earlier this year), Longenhagen gave him a Vogelbach comp–a pretty funny coincidence.

Last edited 7 days ago by TNBucs
tmcgowan

I guess BC has a type….

AdministrativeSky236

Saw he might be a 1B in the future, hoping cheri sees him as a big leaguer there

TNBucs

I hope so, but Longenhagen says he’s DH only. But he loves the bat and the DH isn’t going away, so I think it’s fine if he can’t play 1B.

tmcgowan

Holy link to the past batman! I don’t know how you linked to the 2009 CHONE projections with that comment, but WOW.

agent00

didn’t the pirates try to sign nunez a long time ago?

Mblee24

Why?? Better be getting a lot!

ravidesai1984

They took stratton back intentionally. This is a win.

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