Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana is the type of player that every team wants. The New York Yankees are no different, but a pursuit of the Colombian-native doesn’t fit into the team’s current plans.
The New York Yankees most glaring weakness is the strength of its starting rotation. There’s no point in beating around the bush, as it’s essentially ace Masahiro Tanaka and everyone else. As the offseason began, Chicago White Sox starters Chris Sale and Jose Quintana were two names that surfaced as available.
Now almost into the new year, Boston Red Sox will begin the new season with Sale as their ace, after giving up baseball’s No.1 prospect, Yoan Moncada, to land him. In the days of old, the Yankees would have immediately traded for Quintana as a retaliation move against their division rivals.
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While interested in the 27-year-old Quintana was reported from Jon Morosi a week ago, a move did not appear imminent. This was nothing out of the ordinary, as nearly every team checks in on a player of Quintana’s caliber. However, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates were the two teams “aggressively” pursuing Quintana, with a possibility of a three-way deal.
Just moments after Nightengale tweeted, Joel Sherman of the New York Post quickly shot down the rumors of New York pushing for a deal. For many Yankees fans, Sherman’s tweet was a sigh of relief.
You see, Quintana is an attractive option for the Yankees in many ways. He’s just 27-years-old and on an incredibly team-friendly contract. He’s due $36.85 million over the next four years, which is very cheap for a pitcher of his talent. He’s durable, as he’s tossed at least 200 innings over the past four seasons. While he won’t wow you with his strikeout numbers, he has averaged a solid 3.29 ERA over the last four seasons.
He would fit in nicely to the Yankees rotation as the No.2 starter right behind Masahiro Tanaka. A duo of Tanaka-Quintana would be the second best in the AL East, but one of the top-5 in the AL as a whole.
The largest obstacle in trading for Quintana is the cost. If one throws some names out there as guesses, maybe Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres would be possibilities to go. Brendan Kuty of Nj.com speculated that it would most likely take both Frazier and Torres plus more to get Quintana. This is a price the Yankees cannot give into, given their current status.
The last time New York experienced true, long-term success was when they built from within. The dynasties of the late 90s and early 2000s came as a result of letting their top prospects grow. While Frazier and Torres are far from guaranteed superstars, they have the makings of impact players at the MLB-level.
While Quintana would help the Yankees or any team that trades for him, how far would he truly get them? The Yankees are not one single player away from being championship contenders. They are still what they have been for years; fringe contenders, never out of it, but never really in it.
And while it may not be nice for some Yankees fans to hear, it’s OK to be in this sort of middle-of-the-pack area. The Red Sox gave up the farm for Chris Sale because they were just a guy away from being the AL favorites. The Yankees, though, are still finding their true identity.
New York is on its way to completing one of the fastest rebuilds in baseball history, much like the Chicago Cubs recently did. Come 2018, Yankees fans should expect to see a lot of these prospects as big-time contributors in the Bronx. One thing they shouldn’t expect, though, is to be carried into the playoffs by a one-man show named Jose Quintana.