Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis linked to veteran Jose Quintana
As the St. Louis Cardinals search for starting pitcher and bullpen upgrades, they have been linked to Pirates veteran Jose Quintana.
As president of baseball operations John Mozeliak recently revealed, the plan is for the St. Louis Cardinals to prioritize pitching upgrades. And while they may be unlikely for top starters Frankie Montas, Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo, they will have plenty of options to consider.
Among them include Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Jose Quintana, who Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic wrote is a “potential fit” for the Cardinals along with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.
In all likelihood, Quintana will be the biggest piece traded by the Pirates. And yes, while he had a couple down seasons after leaving the Chicago Cubs, don’t be fooled: Quintana can help the Cardinals a lot. As Biertempfel wrote, “One scout described Quintana as the kind of back-of-the-rotation pitcher who can help nudge a team toward a playoff berth.”
That’s exactly what the Cardinals need, especially with Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz both on the Injured List. Of course, Matz is set to come off the IL in the coming days while Flaherty will be out until August, but pitching depth is often fragile. You can never have enough of it. Just ask the Cardinals the last few seasons. And Quintana, while an upgrade, also wouldn’t cost too much to acquire and is also cheap ($2 million salary).
Quintana, 33, has a 3.59 ERA and 78/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 85.1 innings. He’d give the Cardinals another left-hander in the rotation alongside Matz and another veteran capable of eating innings. He also would provide versatility on the pitching staff, as he pitched out of the bullpen last season with the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels.
It’s not a perfect comp by any means, but Quintana could be a poor man’s version of Drew Pomeranz, who transitioned to the bullpen after being a starter to start his career. But in all likelihood, Quintana would be a starter in St. Louis, and could be the cheap, under-the-radar addition that allows the front office to 1) save their top prospects and 2) have more ammunition to acquire bigger names in other parts of the roster.