It appears that the Jose Quintana to the Yankees rumors will just not die.
Over the weekend, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago wrote that the Yankees — along with the Astros, Cardinals, and Pirates — are still “dug into” the Jose Quintana sweepstakes.
The White Sox have been in sell-mode ever since they concluded a very disappointing 2016 season. During the offseason, they took a page out of the Yankees playbook and rebuilt their farm system, climbing the organizational leaderboard to No. 5 behind the Braves, Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers. They did so with two key moves; they traded ace Chris Sale to Boston for Yoan Moncada, the number one prospect in baseball at the time, and sent Adam Eaton to Washington for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, two highly-touted pitching prospects.
Although those moves were two of the biggest this winter, many believed White Sox GM Rick Hahn would not rest until other veterans like David Robertson, Melky Cabrera, Todd Frazier, and Quintana were traded as well.
The Yankees were linked to Quintana over the offseason on a number of occasions, but nothing ever materialized. At the NYY Winter Warmup event in January, Brian Cashman hinted that the asking price for Sale and Quintana was too rich for the Yankees’ blood at the time.
According to CBS Chicago, though, the Yankees are keeping a close eye on Quintana’s availability and the Sox would be looking for quality, not quantity, as far as prospects are concerned.
This news should not come as a shock. The Yankees seem to always be linked to the top baseball rumors. While I believe Cashman is keeping tabs on Quintana, I do not think he would pull the trigger until he sees how the 2017 Yankees shake out.
If the Yankees are competitive come July, then I could see Cashman going after Quintana, who will likely be the top pitching target at the deadline.
Of the teams Levine listed, the Astros make the most sense for Quintana right now. Houston is considered one of the best teams in the American League, having added great depth to their offense with the signings of Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick, and the acquisition of Brian McCann.
If I were Hahn and the White Sox, though, I would hold out for a Quintana bidding war in July. Although injury or poor first half performance could sink his value, Quintana has been one of the most durable and consistent starting pitchers over the past four seasons. He has reached 200 innings each year since 2013 and his team-friendly contract — about $9.5 million annually for the next four seasons — only adds to the lefty’s value.