Two weeks ago, rumors swirled that the Yankees remained “dug into” the Jose Quintana sweepstakes. I wrote then that it is the story that never ends, and it seems I was right.
George King of the New York Post wrote on Wednesday that the White Sox have been scouting the Yankees consistently this spring, and that “industry buzz is the White Sox have targeted the Yankees as a possible trade partner if they decide to move left-handed starter Jose Quintana.”
If they decide to move left-handed starter Jose Quintana … Listen, the White Sox are going to trade Quintana, it’s just a matter of time. He’s been one of baseball’s most durable and consistent starting pitchers since 2013. At only 28-years old with roughly $9.5M owed to him annually through 2020, Chicago is sitting on a gold mine in Quintana. Unless their team magically develops overnight, trading Quintana like they did Chris Sale and Adam Eaton is the quickest way to success for the South-Siders.
Again, it is no surprise that the Yankees are rumored to be involved in the Quintana trade talks. Unlike the White Sox who are in the beginning stages of a rebuild, the Yankees expect to contend sooner rather than later. Their farm system is ranked second in baseball only behind Atlanta, a franchise also new to the rebuilding process. Because of their wealth of prospects, the Yankees are an ideal trade partner for Chicago who is looking for as much high-upside talent as they can get their hands on.
I’m sure the Chicago scouts have seen what everyone else has seen in Yankees camp thus far; that Gleyber Torres looks to be the real deal, Clint Frazier is knocking at the major leagues’ door, and Aaron Judge seems to have improved his contact rate. Maybe they have also liked what they’ve seen from lesser-known prospects like Dustin Fowler, Kyle Higashioka, and Chance Adams, but those players would only be chips — not centerpieces — in a possible Quintana deal.
I still do not expect the Yankees to jump on a Quintana-type trade just yet. While we all expect and hope them to be competitive this year, the Yankees still have a lot of uncertainty on their roster. Seeing how Luis Severino and the other young rotation candidates materialize will be a huge factor in Brian Cashman’s decision to trade for a pitcher. Should the Yankees be desperate for a front-end starter come July or next offseason, Quintana will near the top of their list. Until then, it’s a wait-and-see game for the Yankees.