Badly in need of a starting pitcher, the St. Louis Cardinals are finalizing a deal to acquire left-hander Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN on Monday night.
Quintana, 33, had bounced around and battled ineffectiveness the previous two seasons before finding his footing with Pittsburgh this year. Ever relying on command and control, Quintana has looked like the pitcher of his prime, throwing 103 innings of 3.50 ERA baseball with 89 strikeouts and 31 walks.
Pittsburgh signed Quintana for $2 million in the offseason, one of the best bargain deals of the winter. It will flip him to a division rival whose pitching depth had taken significant hits with recent injuries to its most talented starter, Jack Flaherty (shoulder), and its big offseason free agent signing, Steven Matz (knee).
The Cardinals had inquired across a broad spectrum of starters but landed on Quintana to slot in with Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Dakota Hudson and Andre Pallante in hopes of catching the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, who earlier Monday traded their All-Star closer, Josh Hader, to the San Diego Padres.
Pittsburgh will receive a pitching and a hitting prospect in the deal, which could also include another player moving to St. Louis, according to a source. And while the Cardinals could target another starter before the 6 pm trade deadline Tuesday, their main focus is on the darling of the deadline, Washington outfielder Juan Soto, who could be traded to the Cardinals, San Diego Padres or Los Angeles Dodgers — or remain with the Nationals.