Pittsburgh has pursued a trade for White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana over the past several months, but Pirates general manager Neal Huntington found the asking price to be “well above where it made sense for us” (via ESPN’s Jim Bowden). With the Bucs seemingly out of the picture for Quintana, the Astros and Braves are the “best possibilities,” per Bowden, who notes that the White Sox “continue to work hard” to trade the 28-year-old. No deal is imminent, though, according to Bowden, who adds that the Astros would have to part with both right-hander Francis Martes and outfielder Kyle Tucker, two of Baseball America’s top 20 prospects, to acquire Quintana (all Twitter links). Houston balked at giving up a package of Martes, Tucker and righty Joe Musgrove for Quintana during the Winter Meetings.
For his part, White Sox GM Rick Hahn is content to wait until someone makes what he deems a satisfactory offer for Quintana, who’s reasonably priced and controllable through the 2020 season. “We’ve had conversations even this spring where if our asks was met, we’d make a move,” Hahn told Scott Merkin of MLB.com. “Obviously nothing has developed as of yet, but that could well change early in the season or it could take to the trade deadline or into the next offseason” (Twitter links).
The latest on a few other pitchers:
- Remarkably, after missing almost all of the previous two years because of shoulder problems, Dodgers southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu is making a strong case to crack their season-opening rotation, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Ryu threw four scoreless, one-hit innings against Milwaukee on Tuesday, giving him nine frames of one-run ball for the spring. Manager Dave Roberts made it clear afterward that the Dodgers want him in their rotation, saying: “When we look back a year, where he’s come from, he’s done nothing but allow us to be very optimistic. Every time he’s gotten better and we’re building him up to be a starter and break camp with us. That’s the plan on our end. He worked hard to put himself in a position where he’s at right now. We’re a better team if he’s in the starting rotation.” With Julio Urias likely to begin the season in extended spring training and Scott Kazmir looking for his lost velocity, two of Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood figure to claim the Dodgers’ available starting spots.
- Padres righty Jered Weaver is dealing with a dead arm, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Weaver has also battled that issue in previous springs, notes Lin, though it’s not exactly encouraging news for a soft-tossing 34-year-old who’s coming off the two worst seasons of his career. Weaver indicated last week that he’s physically “10 steps above” where he was last year, when he piled up 178 innings with the Angels and logged the fourth-worst ERA (5.06) and second-highest FIP (5.62) among the majors’ qualified starters. The former ace lasted two-thirds of an inning in his start against the Royals on Wednesday and yielded four runs on three hits. He also hit two batters.
- Already sans their best starter, the injured Anthony DeSclafani, as Opening Day approaches, the Reds might also begin 2017 without top reliever Raisel Iglesias, who hasn’t pitched since March 14. An elbow issue has kept Iglesias out of action, but an MRI only showed a bone bruise, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The good news is that it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a huge setback or there are any structural issues at all,” said manager Bryan Price. “The negative is that he’s going to have four more days off before he begins to throw again and we’ll have to see how comfortable we are by Opening Day or maybe before that.” A former starter, Iglesias was among the few bright spots in a historically inept Reds bullpen last year, when he posted a 1.98 ERA, 9.72 K/9 and 3.42 BB/9 in 50 innings as a reliever. Health permitting, the 27-year-old will serve as a high-leverage bullpen weapon this season.