This evening, Jeff Passan dropped a Passanbomb of sorts by tweeting the Cardinals acquired left handed pitcher Jose Quintana from division rival Pittsburgh Pirates.
In return, per Francys Romero of MLB(dot)com, the Cardinals are sending RHP Johan Oviedo and #10 prospect Malcom Nunez to the Pirates.
Jose Quintana is having a bounce back season by currently going 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts. However, he had one extremely bad start in Colorado where he allowed 6 earned runs. If you take that out, his ERA drops to 2.97, per Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
My take on this is that while Quintana is a rental (he's a free agent at the end of the season), this is a move that pushes the Cardinals towards the promise land of the playoffs. Quintana is a few years removed from being traded for top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, but has struggled mostly since. Oviedo has been up and down, both literally and figuratively, in his time with the Cardinals. He has the chance to really produce with Pittsburgh. As for Nunez, he didn't really have a future with us. He's all but blocked on the depth chart by Arenado, Gorman, Walker, Goldschmidt, Yepez, Baker. Plus he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason, which I would suspect the Cardinals would not have protected him.
So what does Quintana add to the rotation? He essentially becomes Steven Matz. Like Matz, he's a lefty. However, Matz just tore his MCL in his left knee and is seeking opinions as to whether he needs to have surgery or not. As a result of this trade, I do not expect Matz back in 2022.
Where does this leave the Cardinals hours before the Aug 2 deadline? They are still in the mix for Juan Soto and are still looking to acquire another pitcher. Quintana provides much needed help for the rotation, but I would like to see one more arm added.
Update 9:57 - Reliever Chris Stratton also included in deal along with Jose Quintana.
After publication, word came out that the Cardinals acquired both Quintana and reliever Chris Stratton. Stratton entered the season in the mix for saves, but ultimately settled in as more of a middle reliever. He currently has a 5.09 ERA in 40 appearances. Numbers aren't that great but he's had solid seasons in 2020 and 2021.