Breaking News: Cardinals Acquire Jose Quintana

Pittsburgh Pirates trade P Jose Quintana to St. Louis Cardinals
Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports

Another MLB trade deadline domino has fallen. The St. Louis Cardinals have bolstered their rotation by adding a veteran from their own division. The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to trade Jose Quintana to the Cardinals. MLB insider Jeff Passan broke the news this evening

Jose Quintana Trade Details

Cardinals receive: LHP Jose Quintana

Pirates receive: RHP Johan Oviedo & 3B Malcom Nunez

Quintana is a 33-year-old starting pitcher who was just picked up by Pittsburgh this offseason on a one-year deal. To acquire his services, St. Louis gave up one big leaguer and a prospect.

Oviedo is a 24-year-old pitcher who has bounced between the Cardinals’ MLB roster and triple-A Memphis. He has started, but has seen more work in the majors this season as a reliever. Nunez is a 21-year-old third baseman who was most recently with the Cardinals’ double-A affiliate in Springfield.

Cardinals Add to The Rotation

Pitching was certainly a need for St. Louis heading into the deadline. More specifically, the Cardinals needed more lefty arms. Over the weekend, they added JoJo Romero, a lefty reliever from Philadelphia, in exchange for shortstop Edmundo Sosa. Now it seems they have added another lefty, this time a starter, in Jose Quintana. The former Pirate has been solid this year, posting a 3.50 ERA on a dismal team. Having a defensive upgrade behind him could improve that number.

Still, Quintana does seem like a consolation prize after the Cardinals missed out on Frankie Montas. However, this might be a blessing in disguise. First of all, Quintana being left-handed provides better balance to a right-hand-heavy rotation. Second of all, he was a much better bargain, as the Cardinals gave up almost nothing of consequence.

Oviedo is a struggling pitcher who has not contributed much this year, and Nunez was not even the best third baseman in their farm system right now. Montas would have likely cost a more significant prospect (or two) like a Jordan Walker or a Masyn Winn. Those were important prospects for the Cardinals to hold onto as they pursue a potential blockbuster trade for Juan Soto.

Pirates Had to Sell

Giving up Quintana was a no-brainer. Pittsburgh is the exact opposite of a competitive club right now. There is no point in holding onto a veteran starting pitcher on a one-year contract when wins are inconsequential. All he was doing at this point was eating innings away from younger pitchers and potentially hurting the team’s draft position.

In exchange, the Pirates got a decent haul. Oviedo is still relatively young and has plenty of time to turn things around. However, Nunez is the more promising asset. While he was buried in the St. Louis farm system, that may not be the case in Pittsburgh. He could have a much clearer path to the big leagues, although it may not be at third base.

BREAKING: Yankees Trade for Frankie Montas from Athletics

New York Yankees acquire Frankie Montas in trade with Oakland A's
Photo Credit: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

The New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics reached an agreement on a trade that will send starter Frankie Montas to New York in exchange for four prospects: LHP Ken Waldichuk, LHP JP Sears, RHP Luis Medina, and 2B Cooper Bowman. The Yankees also get reliever Lou Trivino in the deal.

What the Frankie Montas trade means for the Yankees

The Yankees have been motivated to acquire a starting pitcher this trade deadline. Although their rotation had a very good start to the year, they have fallen back down to Earth in the last month. Also, their bullpen has suffered some major blows this season. Chad Green underwent Tommy John Surgery back in May and Michael King, arguably their best reliever, suffered a season-ending fractured ankle earlier this month.

Frankie Montas will slot into the #2 roll in the Yankees rotation and delivers a fantastic 1-2 postseason punch behind Gerrit Cole. Montas also is under team control through the end of 2023.

What are the A’s getting?

Oakland received a solid return from New York in the Frankie Montas trade. The prize is left hander Ken Waldichuk. Waldichuk has been terrific in the minors this season. He has a sub 3.5 ERA across AA and AAA, and has racked up 116 strikeouts in only 76 IP. He has terrific stuff.

JP Sears has been solid for both the AAA team and the major league club. He has a great sinking fastball. His delivery and stuff is reminiscent of current Yankees reliever Zack Britton. Luis Medina has a terrific fastball that ranks as a 75 grade pitch and Cooper Bowman is in High-A and projects as a plus-plus runner and a solid defender. These prospects rank #5, #20, #10, and #21 in the Yankees system respectively.

Frankie Montas Trade Grades

Yankees: A

Athletics: A-

BREAKING NEWS: Yankees Trade for Scott Effross from the Cubs

Cubs trade relief pitcher Scott Effross to the New York Yankees
Photo credit: Marquee Sports

BREAKING: The Yankees get their relief pitcher. With Michael King done for the year, their bullpen had been struggling. Now, they make a huge trade to get Scott Effross. The 28-year-old rookie feels like he’s meant for the Yankees. A stuff-based pitcher with five years of control. Now, the Yankees paid a steep price of #7 prospect Hayden Wesneski, however in the hunt for #28, it might have been worth it.

The Breakdown on Effross

As I said earlier, Effross is a stuff pitcher. He features a low 90’s fast ball with plenty of run. However, his bread-and-butter is his slider, sinker, and change-up combo that makes up for all but 9.5% of his pitches. Effross is in the top 10% of the league in the following advanced stats: XSLG, WOBA, XWOBA, and XERA. All of these are just more advanced ways of tracking their base stats of SLG, OBA, and ERA. XERA is the most impressive, XERA is fielding independent ERA. Effross has posted a 2.21 XERA which is in the top 3% of pitchers and would be second on the Yankees active roster behind only Clay Holmes.

The Yankees side of the Scott Effross trade

Hayden Wesneski is a top prospect for the Yankees, but at a spot where they have ridiculous depth. They have three LHPs in their top 10. This trade does nothing to take them out of the rest of the trade deadline festivities. Wesneski will have a quicker path to the majors in Chicago. He was backlogged in the Yankees farm system, but now he can have a chance to shine.

What’s next for the Yankees

It feels like the Yankees are all in on Frankie Montas and Carlos Rendon. They probably only get one — but who knows, they are the Yankees. They could get both if they wanted to, their farm is deep enough to do so. We have a littlea more than 24 hours until the MLB trade deadline. A lot can happen.

Best Fit For Juan Soto as Trade Sweepstakes Narrows

According to MLB insider Bob Nightingale, the Juan Soto trade sweepstakes has been reduced to a ‘final four‘. Let’s take a look at the case for each team and try to figure out which one makes the most sense.

Washington Nationals OF Juan Soto is on the trade block
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Top Four Juan Soto Trade Destinations

San Diego Padres

The Padres have always made a ton of sense. The general consensus is that they  are the favorite in this race. They certainly have the young talent to get it done. Also, they appear to be in ‘win-now mode’. They are certainly in that sweet spot with veterans like Manny Machado still playing well, and young stars emerging like Fernando Tatis Jr.

Another thing to consider is whether or not a potential suitor would be looking to keep Soto long-term. The asking price is pretty steep if you only plan to rent him for the next two and a half seasons. Any team looking at adding Soto should be considering the massive financial commitment that it will take to keep him long term.

The Padres have proven willing to spend big for their stars, with the Machado and Tatis contracts being prime examples. However, San Diego is a smaller market club. This begs the question: Can they afford a third mega-deal?

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners appear to be right on the cusp of ‘serious contender’ status. Adding Soto could give them the boost their offense needs to push them over the top. This would be a huge get for a franchise that has struggled to acquire and keep superstar talent.

That is also the biggest hurdle for the Mariners. Superstars have not historically been willing to go to Seattle long-term. By trading for Soto, the Mariners would have to be willing to accept that it might be a rental situation. You can really only justify that if you feel like the move practically guarantees you a ring. Adding Soto sure helps, but probably not that much.

St. Louis Cardinals

On paper, this makes too much sense. St. Louis is very clearly in ‘win-now mode’ with all of their aging stars. They also have a wealth of young talent to offer in a trade. Finally, the Cardinals could use another bat to put the offense over the top. That is probably their biggest need outside of pitching.

Ironically, the young talent factor is probably what could keep this deal from happening. The Cardinals are built on having a constant supply of good young ball players. They are not a franchise that likes to gut their farm system for one guy.

Also, gigantic free agent contacts are not something this front office is keen on. Selling the farm for what would likely be a rental would be a huge deviation from the famed “Cardinal Way.”

Los Angeles Dodgers

Of course the Dodgers are in contention for Soto. They are contenders once again, and would not mind another big signing to help push them over the top. They also have the capital to get a deal done done. Despite being known for big acquisitions, the Dodgers have a decent pipeline. Another thing in their favor is, of course, a deep wallet. Of the four alleged trade destination finalists for Juan Soto, Los Angeles is in the best position to sign him to a long-term deal.

If there is one thing working against the Dodgers, it would be what they have to offer. While they can create a package enticing enough for the Washington Nationals to bite, they might not have the BEST package. The Dodgers do not have the same wealth of blue-chip prospects that some of these other clubs, like the Cardinals for example, can offer.

Los Angeles would have to offer young talent that is currently contributing in the big leagues. If a bidding war emerges, the Dodgers may have to consider how much depth they are willing to give up to get one dynamic player.

Which Trade Destination is Best for Juan Soto?

Best Fit: Padres

San Diego is the favorite for a reason. They have a better stable of prospects to offer than the Dodgers. They appear more willing to make a big move like this than the Cardinals. The Mariners just made a big move for Louis Castillo as of writing this. The Padres just make the most sense right now.

Meet the Newest Tiger: Reese Olson

In a surprising move, the Tigers sent LHP Daniel Norris in exchange for RHP Reese Olson.

Let’s get to know the newest arm joining the Tigers pitching-heavy farm system.

The 22-year-old former 13th rounder was drafted out of North Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia.  In three seasons of minor league baseball, he has spent the last two in the Brewer’s High-A Affiliate.

Through 69.0 innings this season, Olson posts a 5-4 record with a 4.30 ERA and 79 strikeouts.  He has limited opponents to a .228 batting average against with an impressive 10.9 SO/9.

Olson features a four-pitch mix including a mid-90’s fastball with arm side run, a changeup that fades away from left-handed hitters which pairs well with his fastball, a sharp curveball with 1-7 break, and a slider.

Olson’s fastball will sit around 94, but he can find more velocity when needed.

Scouts believe Olson has enough swing and miss stuff in his arsenal to remain as a starter.  However, his 6’1 frame and violent mechanics lead some to believe he places unnecessary stress on his throwing shoulder at times.

Olson immediately enters the Tigers farm system as the 13th best prospect and 4th best pitchin prospect.

If he can improve his control, Olson will project as a quality MLB starter, or at the very least, a wicked bullpen piece at the backend.

Scouting Grades

Fastball – 55

Slider – 55

Changeup – 55

Control – 45

Overall – 45