The case of Jose Quintana‘s trade value seems to be a mystery that other teams have not yet solved. Quintana was believed to be the prize of last year’s trade deadline, but he stayed put on the south side of Chicago by the time August rolled around. Then everyone thought he would be a candidate to be dealt over the offseason, but the White Sox chose to trade away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton instead.
The 2017 season got off to a rough start for Quintana, and it seemed like that could have an effect on whatever his trade value would be come July 31. In five starts during the month of April he posted a 5.22 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP, and the only decent stat was his 9.2 K/9 rate. In May his WHIP improved to a 1.34 mark and he walked fewer batters, but every other stat got worse. For the month of May he had a 5.91 ERA, a .272 batting average against, and a .323 BABIP.
Things got much better for him in June, and that made it seem like all of the issues from the first two months of the season had been fixed. In five starts over the month he had significant improvements in his numbers, putting up a 1.78 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .194 BAA, and a .250 BABIP.
Leading up to 2017’s trade deadline the feeling that Quintana will be dealt is still there, and that is still on the minds of teams looking to add another arm to prepare for a playoff push. What teams will have to give up isn’t well known, but surely White Sox GM Rick Hahn will want a hefty return package for his current ace. Here are some teams that have been reported to have strong interest in Quintana
This is a pairing that a lot of people wouldn’t necessarily think of right away, just because of the position that the Braves are in. Even though they are in second place in the NL East, they are currently in no real position to contend for the postseason. They are stuck behind a Nationals team that is poised to dominate the division (even with an awful bullpen), and are seven games behind the second Wild Card spot.
Despite not being in a strong position for contention this year, that doesn’t mean that they can’t pull the trigger on a deal that would help them out in the long run. Quintana is still just 28 years old, and his contract is very team-friendly. He is owed $8.85 million in 2018, and his contract also contains team options in 2019 ($10.5 million, $1 million buyout) and 2020 ($11.5 million, $1 million buyout) that won’t make too big of a dent in a team’s payroll.
The Braves have been linked to Quintana since last season’s trade deadline, and they have continued to have interest in him since then. They have also been linked to other young pitchers like Chris Archer and Sonny Gray, and while it is very unlikely that they land all three it should be something for Braves fans to keep an eye on. Adding Quintana to the current rotation would take some pressure off of Julio Teheran as being “the guy” and would also make the lives of everyone in the bullpen easier as well, in theory.
That singular addition won’t make Atlanta a playoff team, but it would be a step in the right direction.
New York Yankees
The Yankees are another team that has been linked to Quintana, and it would be a very interesting pick up for the Yankees especially with the struggles that ace Masahiro Tanaka has had this year. The Yankees have other decent arms in their rotation with Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, rookie Jordan Montgomery, and the experienced veteran CC Sabathia, but none of those guys scream “potential ace” like Tanaka and Quintana do. Pineda has shown flashes of ace potential, but he has never been able to maintain that level of performance.
If the Yankees were to acquire Quintana, one of those guys would have to be removed from the rotation, and it would seem that Montgomery would get the boot although he has pitched well in his first big league season. The team could choose to send him back down to the Triple-A level to keep getting regular starts, or they could opt to have him act as a long-reliever/spot starter like the Chicago Cubs have been doing with their own Montgomery (Mike Montgomery).
Having the 1-2 combo of Tanaka and Quintana could be beneficial for each of those guys as well. Quintana performed better when he was pitching behind Sale, and having another solid starter could help Tanaka relax and not try to do everything himself. Quintana’s presence in that rotation would be a boost to the entire team as well, giving them another quality starter and give them a strong case for a deep playoff run.
And if we get a matchup between the Yankees and the Red Sox where Quintana goes up against Sale, then that would just be an added bonus.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Recently, the Dodgers have been the new Yankees. They have willingly thrown money at anyone they think can help them win a championship, but – unlike the Yankees – they have been unsuccessful to this point. Trading for Quintana would be the opposite of that, since his contract is so team-friendly and wouldn’t cost the team a ton of money. And on top of that, it could be the best move this team could make.
The Dodgers are 21-4 in their last 25 games, which is an incredible stretch not matched by many other major league teams in recent history. Their offense has been on fire and the bullpen has been working well. The only issue – which is the same issue they’ve had for the last few seasons – has been the health of their starting rotation. Scott Kazmir, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Brandon McCarthy are all on the DL right now, plus Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda have had their share of injuries and general struggles as well.
Adding Quintana to a rotation of Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood (who has also been hurt this year) would give L.A. a three-headed left-handed monster in their rotation, and just might give them the edge in a highly competitive NL West. That rotation would certainly be tough to face in a postseason series, since manager Dave Roberts could elect to use just 3-4 regular starters with a few long relievers as insurance.
Regardless of which team Quintana gets traded to (if he gets moved at all), he will be a solid addition to that team’s starting rotation. Stay tuned here for future White Sox rumors and developments as this year’s trade deadline approaches.
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