The New York Yankees continue to eye Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana to bolster their rotation in both the short and long term.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the New York Yankees could be a player for Jose Quintana this winter as the Chicago White Sox continue to take offers on their most attractive veteran pieces.
With five to ten Top 100 prospects depending on who you ask and one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, it’s no surprise that Morosi says the Yankees have “the sort of prospects the White Sox are looking for.”
The real question is whether general manager Brian Cashman is interested in dealing from his collection of young talent. He’s said on multiple occasions in the last few weeks that he doubts the club will add another starter this winter despite their apparent need, citing the sky-high prices caused by an extreme buyer’s market.
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In response to Morosi’s report, Andrew Marchand of ESPN cautioned that, “Cashman touches base for nearly every available player; especially when it is need base.” In other words, of course the Yankees are “interested” in Quintana as Morosi’s source indicates, but that doesn’t mean they have any intention of meeting the White Sox’s asking price.
Quintana is not only one of the best pitchers in the American League, but he has perhaps the most team-friendly contracts in baseball. He’s owed just $15.85 million over the next two years and then can be retained for 2019 and 2020 with a pair of bargain basement team options.
There’s no reason that Chicago should accept a lesser package for Quintana than they received in return for Chris Sale from the Red Sox at the Winter Meetings. Quintana comes with an additional year of team control and has been performed just a shade below Sale over the last four years in bWAR (21.8 vs. 18.1), ERA (3.04 vs. 3.35), innings pitched (823.2 vs. 814.2), and FIP (3.01 vs. 3.34). That extra year easily makes up the difference in value.
So that means a package from the Yankees would almost certainly have to start with either Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres, and then another Top 100 guy like Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian, Chance Adams, or Blake Rutherford. Luis Severino or Aaron Judge may have enough prospect cred remaining to count as the second piece. Another two names from the 10-20 range would round out the package.
I’m extremely skeptical New York seriously pursues Quintana this winter, but would part with the required package in a heartbeat (Although I would fight like crazy to keep Torres out of it). Let’s say Frazier, Severino, Dustin Fowler, and Drew Finley. Sound fair?
Quintana is both a short and long-term asset that makes New York an instant 2017 contender and gives them insurance for the future in case Masahiro Tanaka opts out after the season.