MLB trade grades: Cardinals get much-needed rotation help with trade for Jose Quintana

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The trade: The St. Louis Cardinals acquire LHP Jose Quintana and RHP Chris Stratton from the Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Johan Oviedo and IF Malcom Nunez.

After the top two pitchers in this year's trade market moved to two contenders in recent days, another team in the hunt for a pitching upgrade pivoted into the next tier. In plucking Jose Quintana from division foe Pittsburgh, St. Louis adds a needed arm. But does this trade really move the needle for the Cardinals?

Let's start this with a comparison.

Pitcher A: 9.1 K/9; 3.2 W/9; 1.2 HR/9; 4.02 FIP; 96 ERA+
Pitcher B: 7.8 K/9; 2.7 W/9; 0.6 HR/9; 3.24 FIP; 119 ERA+

Surprise! Both pitchers are Quintana. The first line reflects Quintana's aggregate numbers from 2017 through the end of last season. The second line reflects what Quintana did for the Pirates this season. The key question for the Cardinals will be which is more indicative of what Quintana will do for the rest of this season.