MLB Rumors: St. Louis Cardinals “Really Want” This Free Agent Pitcher

The St. Louis Cardinals are looking for some depth for their starting rotation, and they plan on acquiring some this offseason, potentially at this coming week's Winter Meetings. One free agent pitcher they hope to reel in is a pitcher they're now familiar with: left-hander Jose Quintana. 

The 33-year-old made a stunning cameo appearance as a Cardinal in August and September of this past season, posting a 2.01 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a 48:16 K/BB ratio in 12 starts after arriving in a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

How badly do they want him back? According to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “they really want to re-sign him,” a source familiar with the team’s plans said. Fellow Insider Jon Heyman also confirms the Cards' interest in a reunion. 

Cardinals beat writer Jeff Jones even surmises that if they're able to sign Quintana, it could free them up to trade another starter (he mentions Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery) for a big bat.  

Quintana had a disastrous two seasons before 2022, with injuries limiting him to just one start in 2020, then an extremely poor performance in 2021 saw his ERA blow up to 6.43. The Pirates, however, decided to take a chance on him, giving him a one-year, $2M contract for this past year, and they were able to use him as a trade chip at the deadline. Those 12 starts for the Cards have earned Quintana a huge pay raise, which will be coming soon in free agency. 

He has a career 3.75 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP while striking out 8 batters per 9 innings. 

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