White Sox in Serious Talks with Nationals and Astros for Jose Quintana

Late Monday night it looked as though the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals were on track to strike a deal for an All-Star starting pitcher, until of course they didn’t. On Tuesday night it appeared that the two clubs are still discussing a deal, this time for Jose Quintana instead of Chris Sale.

The Chicago White Sox made the biggest move of the offseason thus far on Tuesday when they shipped five-time American League All-Star Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for baseball’s top prospect, Yoan Moncada, as well as a package including Michael Kopech, Victor Diaz and Luis Alexander Basabe.

The move marked the beginning of the much anticipated rebuilding effort by the White Sox, and made it clear to the rest of the league that they are open to moving any of their valuable trade pieces.

On Monday night the Nationals, who were targeting Chris Sale, seemed to have been on the right track to land the southpaw, until the Red Sox swooped in and made the White Sox the offer that they were searching for the following morning.

After missing out on Sale, and seemingly cooling on the idea of acquiring Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Nationals are now talking to the White Sox about acquiring Jose Quintana.

The White Sox and the Nationals certainly have the groundwork laid for a deal minimally, with many people valuing Quintana not far off from Sale. The Nationals have an already strong rotation, but still will continue to try to add another starting pitcher after another first round playoff exit in 2016.

Quintana would bring a career 46-46 record with him, with an insane amount of no decisions with the White Sox during his five seasons in Chicago, along with a 3.41 ERA and 781 strikeouts over that span.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reported this morning that the White Sox and Nationals were indeed involved in “serious discussions” regarding Quintana.

As Nightengale reports, the White Sox are also having discussions with the Houston Astros regarding Quintana, another team that missed out on the Chris Sale sweepstakes.

Considering that the Astros will likely not include Alex Bregman in any deal, the Nationals likely have the most intriguing package of the two clubs at this point, especially considering we have a pretty good idea of what that package may contain after the Chris Sale negotiations over the last 36 hours.

The Nationals offered the White Sox their top prospect Lucas Giolito along with outfielder Victor Robles and right-handed pitcher Reynaldo Lopez for Chris Sale on Tuesday morning. That would be the Nationals’ top three prospects including Giolito, who is currently ranked fourth on the MLB Pipeline Top 100 list.

I can’t imagine the White Sox getting the same offer for Quintana, despite how good Quintana actually is; other clubs value him at least a peg under Chris Sale in terms of trade return value.

If the White Sox could get Victor Robles, Reynaldo Lopez and either Carter Kieboom or Dane Dunning in return for Jose Quintana, that would have to be considered a success in my opinion. The move would give the White Sox two more Top 100 prospects in Victor Robles (10) and Reynaldo Lopez (38), along with another solid second-tier prospect that will fit in near the top of the White Sox farm system.

That would put the White Sox at six Top 100 prospects in total, and four deep in the quest for seven that I estimated last month. With Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Adam Eaton, Nate Jones, Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera still available to move this winter, the White Sox would be in excellent position moving forward.

The Astros, on the other hand, also reportedly made a late charge for Chris Sale on Tuesday morning before the deal was announced with the Red Sox later in the afternoon. The Astros have made it very clear (at least publicly) that Alex Bregman was not going to be a part of a package for Chris Sale, so don’t expect his name to be coming to Chicago in a Jose Quintana deal.

Kyle Tucker, Forrest Whitley and Daz Cameron would give the White Sox what they are looking for, presumably. Tucker and Whitley are both Top 100 guys that would give the White Sox another Top 100 bat and arm in their developing system, and Daz Cameron would give the White Sox an additional second-tier prospect that will also fit in somewhere near the back-end of the Top 10 list in their farm system.

I think that the Nationals probably have the greater motivation to get a deal for Quintana done, and sooner rather than later, after losing out on Chris Sale and Wade Davis in the last 24 hours of the Winter Meetings that are taking place in their backyard. The Nationals have seemingly been in on all of the big names this week and have come up empty thus far, and that probably doesn’t sit well with General Manager Mike Rizzo, who is known for making big splashes when adding to his roster.

This morning on MLB Network during an interview with Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds, White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn said that “If we had our druthers, we would have three more interviews this week due to impact trades that we will have made.”

Hahn also said that they will not force anything this week, but that they would like to keep the chains moving on the process that they started yesterday with the Sale deal. Sounds like both Hahn and Rizzo have plenty of motivation to make a deal before they depart the Winter Meetings late tomorrow evening.

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