Left-hander Jose Quintana and the New York Mets are in agreement on a two-year, $26 million contract, sources told ESPN, filling a gap in the team's rotation as it barrels toward the largest payroll in baseball history.
Quintana, 33, was brilliant for the St. Louis Cardinals after Pittsburgh sent him there in a trade deadline deal, posting a 2.01 ERA and allowing just one home run over 62⅔ innings.
The Mets, whose competitive-balance tax payroll currently clocks in around $298 million after the signings of Quintana and new co-ace Justin Verlander, still plan to add players, according to sources. Free agents from last year's team include center fielder Brandon Nimmo and right-hander Chris Bassitt, and they've shown significant interest in right-hander Kodai Senga, a free agent who has starred in Japan for the last decade.
The Mets also acquired left-handed reliever Brooks Raley in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. New York sent minor league lefty Keyshawn Askew to Tampa Bay for Raley, who went 1-2 with a 2.68 ERA and six saves in 60 appearances with the Rays this year.
After spending the end of a disappointing 2021 season as a reliever, Quintana found his prime self with the Pirates after signing a one-year, $2 million contract. While he averaged barely over five innings a start, Quintana had the lowest home run rate in the National League in 2022 and a nearly 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Over his 11-year career, during which he has played for six teams, Quintana is 89-87 with a 3.75 ERA, 1,532 strikeouts and 504 walks over 1,723⅔ innings pitched.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.