Opening Day 2017 is upon us, yet when the Chicago White Sox take the field in their home opener vs. the Detroit Tigers this afternoon, one of the main questions that might come up again is if Jose Quintana will be traded anytime soon.
Quintana, who will face off against Detroit’s Justin Verlander in just a matter of hours, has been the most consistent pitcher on the White Sox in the last three years (outside of Chris Sale), and he has quietly grown into one of the best lefties in the game. However, after the White Sox fire sale during the offseason, the trade rumors around Quintana began to grow. While they did seem to quiet down for a bit during spring training, they are starting to rumble once again.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, Quintana has not paid any attention to the latest rumors and isn’t willing to talk about them with reporters.
“The last two weeks, I haven’t paid any attention to the rumors,” Quintana said. “I don’t want to talk about rumors.”
While Quintana might not be paying attention to the rumor mill talk of late, Jon Heyman of Fanrag is reporting that outside of the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Pittsburgh Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals may be in the possible Jose Quintana sweepstakes.
“While the belief now is that Quintana won’t be traded until closer to the trade deadline, the Cardinals could be a sleeper team for Quintana. Word is, they have quietly showed interest in the White Sox pitching ace, and the Cardinals have the combination of young players and prospects to make it work.”
With Quintana’s very team-friendly contract, (five years, $26.5 million) with team options in 2019 and 2020, the White Sox may be hoping Quintana gets off to a fast start, making him all the more attractive to teams in need of a dependable lefty as the season rolls on.
If the St. Louis Cardinals can land Quintana, they would solidify an already nice pitching staff and increase their odds of contending for the National League Central. While one game certainly does not make a season, St. Louis got off to a nice start last night with a dramatic 4-3 walk-off win vs. the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals know that the Chicago Cubs are the team to beat once again in the NL Central and adding an arm like Quintana could bolster St. Louis’ odds of doing such a thing.
If the White Sox stumble out of the gate, then you can look for a Quintana deal to get well done before the MLB trade deadline.
Now on to Melvin Upton.
Could Upton be joining his brother Justin in Detroit anytime soon? With the option the Detroit Tigers are staring at right now when it comes to outfielders, should they give some serious thought to bringing in Upton to see what he’s got.
Melvin Upton Jr has been told that he has been released by the #BlueJays, and is now headed home to Tampa. He will clear waivers Wednesday— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 2, 2017
According to a tweet from USA Today’s MLB writer Bob Nightengale, Melvin Upton was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday and will clear waivers on Wednesday, thus opening up the opportunity for Upton to play for any team that has an interest in him.
Upton had some great seasons over his 12-year career, with the best coming when he was a Tampa Bay Ray. He has hit 164 home runs and driven in 586 so far as a big leaguer, and he could definitely add some much need speed to the Detroit Tigers’ offense.
If Detroit does sign Upton, he would once again be united with his brother Justin Upton on a major league team for the second time in their careers. The Upton brothers played together with the Atlanta Braves in 2013 and 2014 and with the San Diego Padres in 2015.
[Featured Image by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]