During the Winter Meetings, it emerged that the Astros had asked the White Sox about lefty Jose Quintana, and that the Astros believed the White Sox’ price to be too steep. Today, Peter Gammons tweets that the White Sox asked the Astros for big-league righty Joe Musgrove plus their top two prospects, righty Francis Martes and outfielder Kyle Tucker.
The White Sox’ ask continued their pattern of aiming high (which has worked twice so far this week) and suggests it might be true that, as has previously been reported, the White Sox see no pressing need to trade Quintana, who is controllable at reasonable prices through 2020. The 27-year-old Quintana has emerged as a workhorse, throwing 200-plus high-quality innings in each of the last four seasons. Last season, he posted a 3.20 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 208 frames.
The 24-year-old Musgrove had a successful rookie season last year, posting a 4.06 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 62 innings. Baseball America ranked him the No. 86 prospect in baseball heading into the season.
Martes has emerged as the Astros’ best prospect since arriving from the Marlins’ system in the Jarred Cosart deal in 2014. The 21-year-old posted a 3.30 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 125 1/3 innings at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2016, winning praise from MLB.com (which ranks him the No. 29 prospect in the game) for his 93-95 MPH fastball and filthy curveball.
Tucker was the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft, and MLB.com now ranks him the No. 50 prospect in baseball. The 19-year-old held his own at Class A Quad Cities in 2016, batting .276/.348/.402, then hit very well in a small sample after heading to Class A+ Lancaster.