The Phillies announced Wednesday that they’ve traded right-hander Johan Quezada to the Cardinals in exchange for cash. The move opens up a 40-man spot for a Phillies club that still needs to make Didi Gregorius’ new two-year deal official. The Cardinals’ 40-man roster is now up to 38 players.
Quezada, 26, is a longtime Twins farmhand who inked a minor league deal with the Marlins last winter and went on to make his MLB debut late in the 2020 season. The righty tossed just three big league innings last year, showing a fastball that sat at 97 mph and has long been considered his best offering. He spent the bulk of the 2020 season at Miami’s alternate training site and landed with the Phillies on a waiver claim in late October.
Due to the lack of a minor league season in 2020, there’s little point of reference for Quezada’s work in 2020. He spent the 2019 campaign with the Twins’ Class-A Advanced affiliate, pitching to a 3.44 ERA and 3.59 FIP in 52 1/3 innings of relief with a below-average 21 percent strikeout rate and a 12 percent walk rate he’ll need to pare down to be effective at more advanced levels. Quezada did register a hearty 53.3 percent ground-ball rate in that 2019 season, however. If he can improve the location of his power repertoire while maintaining those ground-ball tendencies, there’s some clear upside — but he’s something of a project for the time being.