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Jose Quintana Rumors Still Floating Around, Yankees Should Wait Though
- Updated: February 27, 2017
The Chicago White Sox were at the heart of this past offseason. Not only did they trade away Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox, but also shipped Adam Easton to the Washington Nationals. It is safe to say that the White Sox are in full rebuild mode. Starting pitcher Jose Quintana has been in trade rumor talks as well. While Spring Training is in full swing, those rumors will not die down. According to CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine, there are still four teams (including the Yankees) who are actively pursuing Quintana. Other than the Yankees, that list includes the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
It is clear to understand why teams are clamoring for Quintana. He has been a top of the rotation pitcher over the past three seasons. Last year was his best season yet, posting a 3.20 ERA and making the AL All-Star team. Other than his impressive numbers (a career 3.41 ERA), Quintana is under a great contract. He is signed through 2018 with two team options for the following two seasons. On top of that, Quintana will only be paid about $9.5 million per season through the club options. That is a steal of a deal for the pitcher of Quintana’s caliber.
This is exactly why the asking price for Jose Quintana is incredibly high. While he might not be as good as Chris Sale, the White Sox want a similar deal that they received for Sale. Remember, the Red Sox had to part ways with the second-ranked prospect according to MLB, Yoan Moncada, to acquire Sale. For Quintana, the asking price is something similar. In my opinion, the White Sox should be asking for that in return for Quintana. All of the four teams who are “dug in” on Quintana have large needs for a starter. The Astros need a top-tier pitcher for their rotation, the Pirates would like another ace to pair with Gerrit Cole, and the Cardinals recently lost Alex Reyes to potential Tommy John Surgery. Meanwhile, the Yankee have two open spots in the rotation.
For the Yankees, trading for Jose Quintana would likely mean parting ways with Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, or Blake Rutherford and a handful of other prospects. This is where the problem lies. Are the Yankees good enough to consider themselves contenders to trade away prospects? Will Jose Quintana help solidify the rotation to pair with a dominant bullpen to win more games? Those answers will be unknown if the Yankees do not pull the trigger. However, the plus side to trading for Quintana is four years of control. Still, should Brian Cashman pull the trigger on the deal and give up some of the prospects he worked hard to acquire?
Maybe, But Definitely Not Yet
Personally, I would like to see Jose Quintana in Yankee pinstripes this season. However, I would also like Derek Jeter to still be playing and Mike Trout to be patrolling center. With how the roster is looking currently, Cashman should continue to hold off on trading for Quintana. However, my answer is a maybe because I would not be angry if he did.
The Yankees are in unfamiliar waters currently. They have a wealth of great prospects and a team that is borderline on playoff contention. Any number of scenarios could alter which way the season goes for the Yankees. Adding a starter of Quintana’s caliber might push them into contention. On the other hand, it could sacrifice the next great player to put on a Yankee jersey. At the current moment, the Yankees should remain with what they have. The simple reason is that the team is such a mystery, a prospect like Frazier could be needed this season to fill in a starting spot.
The rotation can be plugged in with two of the five pitchers who are currently competing for the spots. Bryan Mitchell and Luis Severino are promising young pitchers while Chad Green and Luis Cessa filled in the rotation last seasons with marginal success. Then there is Adam Warren who has always been solid in pinstripes. Two of those five pitchers should be able to keep the Yankees in contention if the offense produces at an average rate. All those pitchers need to do is keep a lead until the sixth inning, then the bullpen can take over.
Circle the Trade Deadline
Now, if the Yankees are in the hunt for the Wild Card or hopefully the AL East title, then it will be time to pull the trigger. At that point in the season, the Yankees will know what they can afford to give up and what they need to keep. If the young pitchers have struggled in the rotation, then the need for Jose Quintana will be evident. However, even if the rotation is strong, the Yankees can look to bolster it with Quintana. With a strong rotation, the Yankees should be more willing to part ways with pitching prospects for a player who will be with the team for three more seasons.
Then there is the outfield and infield. If Aaron Judge or Aaron Hicks are struggling too much in RF, perhaps Clint Frazier has to be called upon to play that position. If Starlin Castro reverts back to his career average, then Gleyber Torres or Jorge Mateo become more important. Either way, the landscape of the Yankees will be much clearer in July than it is now. The asking price might be bumped up, but the Yankees will be more comfortable to part ways with certain prospects depending on how certain players perform during the first half of the season.
In the End, Jose Quintana Should End Up a Yankee
No matter how one slices it, Quintana should be a Yankee via a trade at some point. Whether it is now or at the end of the season, the White Sox will trade Jose Quintana. The Yankees should be the team that the White Sox send their ace to for a new home. Parting with prospects might be tough, but if the Yankees can wait, evaluate what they have and need, then it will not be as drastic of a move. If the Yankees want to allure players to the Bronx in the 2018-19 free agency class, there needs to be a great pitcher in the rotation. Adding Quintana will guarantee one pitcher will be there. If Quintana is moved during Spring Training to another team, then it would be the right move for the Yankees not to be that team. However, when the trade deadline approaches (and the Yankees are in postseason contention), that move has to be made. If the Yankees are not in contention and Quintana makes it through the deadline, this coming offseason is the time where Cashman has to make the move.