Jose Quintana might just be the best starting pitcher available on the trade market. As the offseason continues following the Winter Meetings, there are sure to be many MLB trade rumors regarding exactly what the Chicago White Sox will decide to do with the best pitcher left on their roster.
This past week, the White Sox traded their now-former ace Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for very solid prospects. Then they traded a starting outfielder, Adam Eaton, for even more prospects to the Washington Nationals. Those two trades were the start of the complete rebuild of the White Sox, leaving many to wonder if Quintana is next to leave the South Side.
In his time with the White Sox, Quintana has amassed a 46-46 record since 2012, and in that time, he’s built a career 3.41 ERA in 154 games (151 starts). Last season, Quintana went 13-12 on a very bad White Sox team, where he had very little run support in 208 innings pitched. Quintana did have a 1.16 WHIP, 181 strikeouts, and just 50 walks on the fourth-place team of the AL Central.
Any of the following teams would be very lucky to have Quintana on their roster, even as a potential ace or No. 2 starter for the 2017 season. Here are five potential teams he could be pitching for this upcoming season.
1. Houston Astros: An MLB trade possibility that really isn’t any secret for quite some time now is the Astros are interested in Quintana. The lefty has drawn much interest from the Astros, but will they be willing to trade some of their top prospects, including Francis Martes? CBS Sports MLB writer Matt Snyder wrote about the potential trade rumor, but it would be a lofty group of players to give up to add to their starting rotation.
2. New York Yankees: The Yankees have some prospects to trade (Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield to start the conversation), and let’s face it, they need to do more this offseason to compete. With the Red Sox having three aces in their starting lineup and being in a strong AL East, they’ll have to add another starting pitcher sooner rather than later if they want to compete with Boston next season. The Yankees need to trade for another solid pitcher to go with Masahiro Tanaka. Someone like Quintana would be a great addition to their starting rotation, and his contract is friendly for the Yankees, too.
3. Washington Nationals: Being they’ve already been good trade partners once already this offseason, the White Sox are already familiar with the Nationals’ farm system. Having a potential rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Quintana, and possibly Tanner Roark might be too much for the Nationals to pass on. It also would make them a very dangerous force in the NL, not just during the regular season, but the postseason, too.
4. Texas Rangers: Here is what it comes down to … the White Sox want good prospects, but do the Rangers have them to trade? One possible player in a trade is left-hander Yohander Mendez, but who else could the Rangers add to a trade? As for this possible trade opportunity, one aspect of Quintana that can draw interest from teams is his durability. ESPN reporter David Schoenfield, when assessing a trade for Quintana, wrote that Quintana has pitched 200 or more innings for the past four seasons and that the Rangers would have trouble with a trade for Quintana compared to other teams.
5. Chicago White Sox: In this complete rebuild, the White Sox do need to have an ace right now and for the future. Being that Quintana will be 28-years-old at the start of the 2017 season, maybe he is the one the White Sox look to lead the young pitching staff into the future. Quintana, of course, does bring a lot of trade value to the market. When this team is competitive again, potentially in a couple seasons, Quintana could be the pitcher they have been looking for all along. It comes down to his overall value, and Quintana is most valuable in a trade it seems.
[Featured Image by Jon Durr/Getty Images]