Yankees balked at steep asking price for Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 30: Jose Quintana
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 30: Jose Quintana /

The Yankees and Astros, thought to be two logical candidates for a José Quintana trade, have approached the White Sox about the coveted left-hander. However, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the teams are far apart in their respective discussions.

From the Yankees, the ChiSox reportedly are asking for two blue-chip prospects, including either Gleyber Torres (highly regarded despite being injured) or Clint Frazier (three homers, a double and two triples in first seven major league games) as part of a larger package. Chicago received a similar return from the Red Sox, who parted with Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech when they dealt for Chris Sale last December.

As good as Quintana can be, he’s no Sale. But the White Sox are in the driver’s seat with three weeks to go until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. So even though their asking price may be scaring teams away for now, it’s part of the dance.

One thing going for the ChiSox: The starting pitching market doesn’t have many young, controllable and affordable pitchers to offer. Quintana is a top-of-the-rotation arm who’s owed a reasonable $36.85 throughout the 2020 season.

However, Quintana’s down season — by his standards — combined with his price tag may eliminate the Astros (possibly the Yankees’ top competitor) from the pool of interested clubs.

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“The price for Quintana is high enough that the Astros are looking elsewhere, having known to have called on Teheran and even Mets star Jacob deGrom, as Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and MLB Network first reported,” Heyman writes. “And word is, the Astros don’t actually see Quintana as an ace at this point. The Yankees, who once had Quintana in their system, may like him a bit more.”

Whether the Yankees swap the jewels of their system for a guy they once let go for nothing, remains to be seen. But considering they could use a frontline pitcher (especially with baffling inconsistencies from Masahiro Tanaka) and are scouting Quintana’s starts, I seriously doubt the past will get in the way of a deal. It all comes down to finding a price that both general managers are comfortable with.

The 28-year-old Quintana is 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts this year. The lefty has cleaned up in his last five starts, going 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings.