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Pirates trade Jose Quintana to division rival

Quintana recorded a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts with the Bucs in his only season with the Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: The Pirates are also including right-handed reliever Chris Stratton in the deal. Stratton, the Pirates longest-tenured pitcher and a stable in the back end of the bullpen before finding inconsistency in 2022, struggled in a setup role this year. The 31-year-old pitched to a 5.09 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, and .270 opposing batting average in 40 appearances over 40.2 innings.

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered the trade deadline frenzy late Monday night.

The Pirates traded left-handed starting pitcher Jose Quintana to the St. Louis Cardinals, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. reporter Francys Romero is reporting the Pirates will receive third baseman Malcolm Nuñez and right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo in return for Quintana.

Nuñez, 21, is the Cardinals No. 10 prospect and is in the midst of his best power output at the plate of his career. The righty bat has hit 17 home runs and driven in 66 runs in 85 games with Double-A Springfield.

Nuñez is slashing .255/.360/.463 with an .823 OPS in 298 at-bats during the 2022 season. Nuñez’s power is his biggest upside and does not profile as a plus defender, grading at 45 on MLB Pipeline’s 20-80 scale. He could be a future option in a first baseman/designated hitter role.

Oviedo, 24, was the Cardinals No. 11 prospect in 2020 and made his MLB debut the same season.

The former starter struggled in both 2020 and 2021, bouncing between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis, before transitioning to the bullpen while on the major league club.

Oviedo registered a 3.20 ERA in 14 games, one start, striking out 26 batters and walking seven in 25.1 innings pitched. He also owns an opposing average of .260 and 1.30 WHIP.

Quintana, 33, has bounced back in a major way within the Pirates starting rotation after struggling with the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants in 2021.

The veteran lefty delivered a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts spanning 103 innings, allowing 100 hits, 31 walks, and striking out 89 batters.

Quintana pitched like the player then general manager Neal Huntington tried to acquire from the Chicago White Sox in 2017 before being dealt across town to the Chicago Cubs.

Trading Quintana to a division rival is a puzzling move, but will be a free agent at season’s end.

The trade deadline is Tuesday night at 6 p.m.