Jose Quintana has parlayed his success in Pittsburgh into a job in St. Louis.
The Pirates traded the veteran left-handed pitcher to the Cardinals on Monday night in exchange for reliever Johan Oviedo and corner infield prospect Malcolm Nunez. Pittsburgh also sent right-handed reliever Chris Stratton to St. Louis.
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The 33-year-old Quintana signed a $2 million, one-year deal with the Pirates last fall intent on re-establishing himself as a starter after spending most of the last two seasons working out of the bullpen with multiple clubs. Quintana delivered, going 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts with Pittsburgh, including 5 2/3 shutout innings last week against Philadelphia.
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Quintana’s reward is jumping from the last-place Pirates to a pennant race. The Cardinals are three games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central and one game out of the final wild-card spot.
Stratton began the season working near the back end of Pittsburgh’s bullpen but struggled at times and found himself being used mostly in non-leverage situations during his final weeks with the Pirates. Stratton, 31, is 5-4 with two saves and a 5.09 ERA this season.
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The right-handed Oviedo, 24, is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in 14 appearances this year for the Cardinals, with all but one of his appearances coming out of the bullpen.
The 21-year-old Nunez, who can play both third base and first base, hit 17 home runs this season in Double-A.