Posted on February 1, 2017 by Bryan Zarpentine
Even with time quickly running out until the start of spring training, the Chicago White Sox remain open for business and willing to make trades as part of their rebuilding effort. One player who has attracted a lot of attention for much of the offseason and could still get traded is lefty starter Jose Quintana. Multiple teams, including the Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Yankees, have been linked to Quintana in trade talks, but recent reports indicate the Texas Rangers are making a strong push late in the offseason to trade for Quintana.
The Rangers have been on the periphery of the Quintana talks for much of the offseason, as they’ve been reluctant to commit large amounts of resources towards one player. However, recent reports out of Texas indicate that the Rangers “suddenly have increased their pursuit” of Quintana. Other reports indicate that the Rangers are “downplaying” their talks with the White Sox. However, there are reasons to think that the Rangers speaking with the White Sox about Quintana is potentially serious.
For starters, the Rangers are in need of another quality starter. Texas had the best regular season record in the American League last season, but the Rangers lacked the pitching to carry them in the postseason. Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish provide a great 1-2 punch, but even with the additions of Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross this offseason, Texas doesn’t have the kind of rotation that stacks up to teams like the Red Sox and Indians. The addition of Quintana would change the look of their rotation and enhance their chances of returning to the postseason in 2017 and advancing deep into October.
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Another reason why the Rangers may be serious contenders for Quintana at this point is that other teams appear to be dropping out. For instance, the Yankees appear to be out of contention, while the Astros, once thought to be the favorites, appear unwilling to meet Chicago’s price for Quintana.
Even if the Rangers haven’t been in constant contact with the White Sox this offseason, they may have a chance to land Quintana if they haven’t yet given up their pursuit of him. The White Sox aren’t in a rush to move Quintana, as they can revisit the idea of trading him this summer or next winter. That being said, the White Sox would like to move forward with the rebuilding process as quickly as possible, and so they will act if they get an offer they like for Quintana.
After the trades they made last summer, the Rangers are a little light on elite prospects at the moment, but they do have several major-league ready players who could be used in a trade. From Chicago’s perspective, being able to plug in players who are cheap and affordable could accelerate the rebuilding process. Players like Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo, and Nomar Mazara could all go a long way towards making a trade for Quintana a reality. Even a player like Rougned Odor could be on the table, knowing Profar could replace him.
Based on the conflicting reports, it’s difficult to tell if the Rangers are serious or not about making an effort to trade for Quintana at this stage in the offseason. However, considering the need Texas has for a frontline starter and Chicago’s willingness to move Quintana if they receive a strong offer for him, it’s definitely something worth keeping an eye between now and the start of the season.