Yankees Jose Quintana Sweepstakes: It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees have reportedly crept their way back into the rumor mill again as one of four teams in the mix to acquire the services of a much-needed number two starter for their rotation. The trouble is that they’ve already been down this road before and so has everyone else. Why even bother?

The Yankees and everyone else in the world of baseball know that the Chicago White Sox have been lurking in the shadows and biding their time waiting to launch Fire Sale II. Their initial venture back in the late fall sent Chris Sale and Adam Eaton to the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals in return for packages of highly touted prospects.

The next wave followed shortly after when the White Sox put a for sale tag on Jose Quintana, their prized and very competent starting pitcher. Quickly, Quintana became the next must-have flavor in your stable, and the Yankees were one of the many teams involved in discussing which of their best prospects could be sent to the gun-pointing White Sox.

Either make the deal and get it over with. Or, firmly announce, “Thanks, but no thanks”.

Those talks, you might recall, never moved off the back burner for good reasons and the Yankees quietly went about their offseason business from that point forward. Until now, when Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago decided to cause trouble again by reporting that Quintana is “in high demand.”

Levine claims that the Astros, Cardinals, Pirates and Yankees are teams believed to be dug into the sweepstakes for the 28-year-old Quintana. The Pirates? Where are they going this year? But anyway, here we go again.

Levine goes on to report that the White Sox are not interested in stealing most of your children, they just want the best of your lot:

"Levine reports that the expected return for a Quintana trade is all about “the quality of prospects they get in return, not the quantity.”"

Clint Frazier, Jorge Mateo, Luis Severino, and yes, even Gary Sanchez were among the names floated by the White Sox as the ransom for Quintana in November. Didn’t they miss someone named Torres?

Jose Quintana is an elite pitcher. He’s a bull who has logged over 200 innings in each of the last four seasons, with an ERA of 3.29 over the same stretch. Plus, he’s team controlled for the next four years for around $40 million. He’s a stud and someone you would call a “good catch.”

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Brian Cashman needs to do one of two things almost immediately. Either make the deal and get it over with. Or, firmly announce, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

The Yankees are in the middle of a Spring Training that (so far) can only be described as “uplifting.” Aaron Judge is denting the scoreboard, Gleyber Torres is a hitting machine, and every one of the Yankees starters has not faltered in their first appearance. Why would you want to divert attention from all of this?

And how about the kids on the block? Frazier, Mateo, and Severino have enough on their plate right now without adding the stress of seeing their names being floated as trade bait.

On the other hand, a case could be made for trading all three of them for Quintana. I wouldn’t do it, but if Cashman decides to go that route, eventually the storm will subside, and Quintana will make 25 or 30 brilliant starts for the Yankees this year, changing the entire look of the team.

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Do it or squash it. Just don’t let it fester.