11:22am: Nightengale cites the Yankees and Pirates as the two most aggressive teams on Quintana, via Twitter, even noting that there have been some discussions of a three-team arrangement of some kind (as has been rumored elsewhere of late). But it’s still far from clear whether there’s any real reason to believe there is anything approaching a serious negotiation at this stage. In fact, sources tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link) that the Yankees aren’t currently working on any deal to land Quintana and Robertson.
8:38am: As the Yankees and White Sox continue to explore trade arrangements involving highly valued southpaw Jose Quintana, the organizations have now also “expanded” their discussions to include Chicago closer David Robertson, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). The Sox would keep part of the remaining $25MM left on Robertson’s contract in any agreement.
We’ve heard varying suggestions recently as to just how serious New York’s interest in Quintana really is. Certainly, there’s a need on paper for the Yanks, who might at least be somewhat more willing to part with some of their newly acquired farm depth to add a youthful, affordable, controllable starter such as Quintana.
The insertion of Robertson into the mix adds some intrigue, though it still isn’t apparent how likely the sides are to line up on a deal. It’s possible to imagine the 31-year-old righty making a return to New York, where he spent seven strong years, to form another three-headed bullpen monster with Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances. But wrapping Robertson into a deal could also set up a variety of other alternatives for the Yanks, who could conceivably go on to flip Robertson or even move Betances to offset the presumably lofty cost it would take to pry Quintana loose.
From the White Sox’ perspective, there’s still no urgent need to deal their best remaining rotation piece, or even to part ways with Robertson except to help facilitate an appealing return of talent. But after already sending out ace Chris Sale, along with quality outfielder Adam Eaton, there’s certainly an argument to be made that the organization ought to make every effort to cash in Quintana this winter rather than rolling the dice on his continued health and effectiveness.
If there’s something of a game of chicken ongoing between the South Siders and the Bronx Bombers, there are also plenty of other forces at play. The Pirates have reportedly pushed hard to land Quintana, and a pair of AL West rivals are still competitive, too. We heard recently that the Rangers have interest, and the Astros have already kicked around some potential packages for the 27-year-old lefty.