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José Quintana Rumors: Cardinals Facing Competition to Sign Veteran Pitcher

Adam WellsDecember 2, 2022

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 07: Jose Quintana #62 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning during Game One of the NL Wild Card Series at Busch Stadium on October 7, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
Joe Puetz/Getty Images

Coming off a stellar 2022 season split between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, José Quintana is attracting a lot of attention on the free-agent market.

Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Cardinals "have competition" as they attempt to re-sign the 33-year-old left-hander.

Teams that need a starting pitcher but don't want to spend at the top of the market will likely take a hard look at Quintana.

It's unclear at this point which clubs are in on Quintana. The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox had interest in him before the trade deadline. The Cardinals ultimately acquired him and Chris Stratton from the Pirates in exchange for Malcom Nunez and Johan Oviedo.

The Pirates signed Quintana to a one-year, $2 million deal that turned into a massive bargain last offseason. He finished 2022 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 165.2 innings over 32 starts between Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

It was the first season since 2016 that Quintana posted a sub-4.00 ERA and first time since 2019 he threw at least 100 innings.

Given the inconsistency in his performance and lack of durability in recent years before 2022, Quintana does present significant risk to teams as a free agent.

One encouraging sign for teams was the performance of Quintana's fastball last season. It was tied for the 19th-most valuable pitch in Major League Baseball with a minus-17 run value. His curveball was also an above-average pitch with a minus-10 run value.

Quintana's age and durability questions do make him an affordable option for clubs that want another starter. He probably won't get back to being an All-Star player at this stage of his career, but a solid mid-rotation starter who can eat innings has a lot of value.