The White Sox remain undeterred in seeking to obtain a big haul for sturdy lefty Jose Quintana, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. With three years of affordable control remaining after the current season, the rebuilding organization probably doesn’t need to deal Quintana this summer.
To this point, the team has stood on that notable piece of leverage, continuing to ask for “two very top prospects” in its conversations with interested rivals. The South Siders have pressed the Astros for Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker, while asking the Yankees to headline a deal with either Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier.
That strategy seemed in danger of backfiring earlier this year, as Quintana stumbled out of the gates. But the 28-year-old has righted the ship of late, perhaps restoring any lost shine.
Quintana has thrown only 104 1/3 frames over 18 starts, putting him shy of a 200-inning pace, though he has yet to exhibit any health issues. (More broadly, durability is one of the lefty’s chief attributes.) His 15.5% K%-BB% is a near-exact match for the numbers he carried over the prior three campaigns. A rise in home runs allowed (1.21 per nine) is perhaps the largest single factor differentiating Quintana’s current campaign from the five strong seasons that came before.
If teams buy into the improved form Quintana has shown since the start of June — 45 strikeouts and just 12 earned runs over forty frames — then perhaps they’ll be willing to meet the steep asking price. Then again, his less-than-dominant form over the course of the current season raises yet more questions about just how hard contenders should push to get him.
For the Astros, Heyman notes, Quintana may not really be as impactful an arm as the team would prefer to acquire. That makes sense: Houston is running off with the AL West and has many quality rotation options, but would love to add a true lock-down starter to the top of its staff.
In fact, the ’Stros have gone so far as to ask the Mets about star righty Jacob deGrom, per the report. (Tom Verducci of SI.com had previously reported some level of interest.) He’d likely be a more impactful addition, though there’s still no reason to think the Mets have any interest in even considering a deal.
As it stands, teams like the Astros and Yankees are continuing to “look around for alternatives,” per the report. But the lack of obviously available pitchers of comparable or better quality — with the exception, it seems, of Sonny Gray — represents another key element of the White Sox’ bargaining position. Just how things will turn out remains to be seen, but to this point the long standoff continues.