Posted on January 16, 2017 by Bryan Zarpentine
Of all the players who could be with a new team by the start of spring training, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana is undoubtedly the most intriguing. Teams have refused to give up their pursuit of the lefty, and the latest rumors suggest that interest in acquiring him has only grown. Recent reports out of Chicago indicate that several teams remain interested in Quintana and that those teams are increasing their offers for him, indicating that Quintana being traded could be more likely than it was earlier this winter.
The last we heard about Quintana, the Astros were the new favorites to land him, the Pirates had also expressed serious interest in him, and there were conflicting reports over whether or not the Yankees would be willing to meet the high price tag the White Sox have placed on the lefty. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said the Yankees are all but done making moves this winter, meaning they are likely out of contention. However, the latest reports indicate that it’s more than a two- or three-horse race, and so the Astros and Pirates may have some competition aside from each other if they hope to land Quintana.
The Astros need a frontline starter more than most teams expecting to compete in 2017, and so there is some semblance of pressure on them to improve their rotation before the season. Young third baseman Alex Bregman is likely off the table, which could make it harder to meet Chicago’s demands for Quintana, especially if several other teams are involved. However, top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker have been mentioned as players who could be involved, and Houston could certainly put together a package for the White Sox that revolves around those two young talents.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are less in need of rotation help, but the fact that Quintana is under team control for four more years on a team-friendly contract makes him perfect for the budget-conscious Pirates. The White Sox would likely demand either Jameson Taillon or Tyler Glasnow, both potential aces, be involved in a deal, while first base prospect Josh Bell has also been mentioned as a possible target for the White Sox. Nevertheless, the Pirates do appear to have a deep enough farm system to satisfy Chicago’s asking price if they are willing to do so.
Outside of the Astros and Pirates, it’s pure speculation with regard to the teams that could still be in discussions with the White Sox about Quintana. However, the Braves, Rockies, Nationals, and Dodgers would all make sense, as would any team that pursued Chris Sale when the White Sox traded him earlier in the offseason. Ultimately, the White Sox could have quite a few offers to consider when it comes to trading Quintana, assuming they decide to trade him.
By all accounts, the White Sox are in no rush to trade Quintana. Chicago can easily hold onto him and revisit the possibility of trading him this summer or next offseason. But if the recent reports are true that multiple teams are still involved and stepping up their offers for Quintana, it’s increasingly likely that they’ll receive an offer that pushes them to make a deal. Other than preferring to do it before the start of spring training, the White Sox have no apparent deadline on making a decision, and so this likely isn’t the last we’ve heard regarding Quintana this offseason.