ST. LOUIS — José Quintana has turned his success in Pittsburgh into a job in St. Louis.
The Pirates traded the veteran left-handed pitcher to the Cardinals on Monday night for reliever Johan Oviedo and corner infield prospect Malcolm Nunez. Pittsburgh also sent right-handed reliever Chris Stratton to St. Louis.
Quintana, 33, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Pirates last fall with the intention of reestablishing himself as a starter after spending most of the past two seasons working out of the bullpen with various clubs. Quintana delivered, going 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts with Pittsburgh, including 5 2/3 scoreless innings last week against Philadelphia.
Quintana’s reward is jumping from last place for the Pirates to a pennant race. The Cardinals are three games out of 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 of Pittsburgh’s bullpen, but struggled at times and found himself being used mostly in no-influence situations during his final weeks with the Pirates. Stratton, 31, is 5-4 with two saves and a 5.09 ERA this season.
The 24-year-old right-hander Oviedo 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 at Double-A.