The swirling trade winds associated with Chicago White Sox All-Star lefty Jose Quintana which have been continuing since the December trade of Chris Sale persist into spring training.
While many thought that the Chicago White Sox would move Quintana quickly after Sale and Adam Eaton were moved; that has not been the case. Quintana is in Spring Training with the White Sox, and taken the role as the team’s ‘ace’. For now.
The Astros, Cardinals, Pirates and Yankees are teams believed to be dug into the sweepstakes for the 28-year-old Quintana, who’s on the trade block as the White Sox have embarked on a rebuild. The White Sox’s focus in a potential Quintana trade is the quality of prospects they get in return, not the quantity, sources said.
The White Sox are no doubt looking for a haul to rival what they received from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade.
What the White Sox could get from these respective teams is truly a mystery at this time. Common sense would assume that the White Sox would be inclined to move Quintana before he goes to represent his native Colombia in the World Baseball Classic next week.
General Manager Rick Hahn may feel he can get the most by holding on to Quintana, and pulling the trigger at the trade deadline.
The Yankees and Pirates on paper appear to be the strongest suitors. Pittsburgh has uniquely talented position players such as infielder Josh Bell, outfielder Austin Meadows, and shortstop Kevin Newman. The Pirates are fighting to keep up with the Cubs and Cardinals in the NL Central, and Quintana may be what they need to stay afloat.
Like the Pirates, the Yankees have an abundance of hitting prospects that are developing or near mid-league ready. Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, and Blake Rutherford are names that in theory could be a part of a Quintana deal. Also of note, Quintana was in the Yankees minor league system from 2008 thru 2011, before coming to Chicago.
Rick Hahn has re-iterated to CSN Chicago that he is holding firm on what it would take to move Quintana:
“The price isn’t going to be lowered unless it serves the greater good of advancing what we’re trying to accomplish,” Hahn said last Friday on SportsTalkLive.
The White Sox bargaining position is further enhanced due to Quintana’s contract which runs through 2020. Quintana is due to make $7 million this season.
With the cost-effective contract that the White Sox ace has; it is not out of the realm of possibility for the White Sox to decide to build around Quintana. With the expected development of young pitchers Carson Fulmer, Carlos Rodon, and eventually Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech; the Sox could be competitive again before the end of the Quintana deal.
Quintana is coming off the best season of his career. In which the 28 year old had his career best in wins, ERA, innings pitched, and strikeouts. He was also elected to his first All-Star Game. A much overdue honor. He has also pitched over 200 innings each of the last four seasons.