St. Louis Cardinals acquire Jose Quintana from Pittsburgh Pirates

Badly in need of a starting pitcher, the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night acquired left-hander Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

St. Louis also received reliever Chris Stratton as part of the deal, while sending Johan Oviedo and Malcom Nunez back to Pittsburgh.

Quintana, 33, had bounced around and battled ineffectiveness the previous two seasons before finding his footing with Pittsburgh this year. Ever reliant 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 now flips 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.

And while the Cardinals could target another starter before the 6 p.m. 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.

Stratton, a right-handed reliever, had a 3.98 ERA across four seasons with Pittsburgh.

Nunez, a 21-year-old corner infielder, was hitting .255 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs for Double-A Springfield. Oviedo, a 24-year-old right-hander, is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in 14 appearances, mostly out of the bullpen, this season for the Cardinals.