When the Pirates signed Jose Quintana to a one-year, $2MM contract over the winter, it was clear from the jump that if he performed well, he’d be among the most surefire trade candidates on the market. Fast forward seven months, and Quintana has done just that, turning in a vintage showing that resembles his peak years with the White Sox. Unsurprisingly, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that Quintana is among the “most popular” names being discussed in what is still the nascent stages of the summer trade market.
This was likely always the plan for the Pirates: buy low on a pitcher with some track record who could potentially pitch his way into a trade chip. It’s a common tactic for rebuilding clubs, and one the Bucs have tried in the past under GM Ben Cherington (although Quintana is a bit more high-profile than either Tyler Anderson or Trevor Cahill were at the time of their deals with Pittsburgh). So far, it could scarcely have gone better.
Through 16 starts, Quintana has pitched to a 3.33 ERA with a 21.6% strikeout rate, a 7.3% walk rate and a 43.2% ground-ball rate. Those numbers stack up quite nicely with Quintana’s rates from his 2013-16 peak (20.8% strikeout rate, 6.0% walk rate, 43.7% grounder rate). He’s getting by with less life on his fastball than in the past — 91.1 mph average in 2022, 92.4 mph average from 2013-16 — but that’s hardly unexpected when comparing a pitcher’s age-23 through age-26 seasons to his age-33 campaign. And while some of the improvement in his plate discipline trends is likely reflective of the overall increase in strikeouts in recent years, it’s still notable that Quintana is sitting on an 11.7% swinging-strike rate and 35.6% opponents’ chase rate — both career-bests as a starting pitcher.
The Pirates have been judicious with Quintana’s workload and with the frequency (or lack thereof) with which they allow him to turn a lineup over for a third time. The veteran lefty is averaging just over five innings per start (81 innings, 16 starts), and only 54 of the 342 hitters he’s faced this season have been seeing Quintana for the third time on a given day. He’s acquitted himself quite well in those settings, yielding only a .208/.296/.313 batting line when facing hitters a third time, but the Bucs have only allowed him to pitch beyond the fifth inning in seven of his 16 starts.
Occasionally, Quintana has forced their hand with a rough showing early on, but those blips have been rare. Quintana has allowed more than three runs in only three of those 16 starts, and in one of those instances, three of the runs were unearned. The Bucs have seemingly been willing to give they lefty more leash after keeping his pitch counts low early in the season. He averaged 79 pitches per outing through his first five turns but has since averaged 90 pitches per start in 11 outings.
There’s little point in speculating on specific fits when it comes to Quintana, as the majority of contenders could use a solid arm to plug into the middle or back of their rotation. And, with just a $2MM salary on the season — about $995K of which remains to be paid out as of this writing — even the most cash-strapped clubs can take on the remainder of his salary without much issue.
Trades of note this far in advance of the deadline are increasingly rare in the modern game, as teams often wait until the final days to determine how aggressively to add — or whether to add at all. Even clear-cut sellers often hold off on conducting swaps of significance, as demand figures to increase closer to the deadline. That said, there’s zero doubt that the 33-47 Pirates (-113 run differential) will be open to moving short-term veterans this summer, so if a team wants to step up with an offer of note earlier than usual, the Bucs could be less reluctant to move than some other, more borderline sellers might be.
Red Sox or Mets would be my best bets based on pitching injuries
Mets make sense. Dom Smith and a young arm?
Dom would only increase the value of the young arm needed to make the deal done as he is a negative asset.
I don’t think he is a negative asset. He is not as big an asset as he once was, but he is not a negative. If he is, then the Mets would just release him because he is not on a long term deal.
That’s such a fallacy Hiflew. He can be a negative asset trade value wise, but the Mets see him as a sunk cost, and they’d rather try to let him recover value than lose him for nothing
Teams don’t have to share their valuation of a player. They rarely do
I would agree if he was a veteran, but he is still relatively cheap in arbitration. He will either be dealt or be a non-tender this offseason. Unless he has some kind of serious hot streak.
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Smith may make a decent first baseman as that is a bereft position for the Pirates.
If they can get him and a decent AA pitcher it may be a good deal for the Pirates,
“Hello, Ben. Billy here. I was thinking . . . how about Dom Smith and a good Double-A pitcher for Quintana?”
“Hello? . . . Ben?”
Pirates want prospects. Not arb guys with 2 years of control left. They trade those guys away.
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Pirates need to show clear improvement this year,and at least as much next year to at least 500.
Prospects are just prospects,and Mason Martin is not the answer.
The only good news is, Martin is pretty far down on the list as prospects go with the Bucs. There are several more very interesting still growing on the farm and a couple of the outfield prospects who have been hitting have been getting work at first so
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I figured that Smith needs a solid chance again and this would be at little cost.Yoshi will probably not be back next year and,especially if they get a decent AA pitcher for Q,it may be worth it to get something in trade for Smith in a year if he does well and if any Pirate minor leaguers will have deserved a full time shot.
I heard the Mets announcer the other night say that Dom Smith hasn’t hit a home run in a long time. I don’t remember the number of at bats he quoted but it was a large number. I would wait till he hits the waiver wire.
It’s all going to depend on which players offer in return
This is the Ben Cherington era not the Neil Huntington era who gave away established major leaguers for dumpster diving projects
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Man-You clearly do not know what you are talking about.
austin meadows and tyler glasgow for chris archer, a Neal Huntington trade
I probably know more than you can imagine Mendoza
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See the Yu Chang article where I listed all of NH’s recent trade gets and tell me that again.
It is very easy to cherry pick one or two trades but those who know the overall picture and history do not do that.
“This is the Ben Cherington era not the Neil Huntington era who gave away established major leaguers for dumpster diving projects”
“austin meadows and tyler glasgow for chris archer, a Neal Huntington trade
I probably know more than you can imagine Mendoza”
One thing you don’t seem to know is that your example is completely backwards.
You slam Huntingdon for giving “away established major leaguers for dumpster diving prospects” and then cite a trade where he gave away prospects for an established MLB’er”.
except that the trade for Chris Archer is historically the worst made in team history and that was my point
Must be difficult to read between the lines
Depends on how Baz turns out. Glasnow ended up on the IL more than he pitched for the Rays., Meadows, after his torrid start to 2019 has been average. Has not been good and on the IL in Detroit. after Tampa gave up on him. Baz still could be great. Would not say it was the worst trade in team history., The Bonilla trade was pretty horrendous.
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TheMan-You included the word “era” in your sentence which implies more than one trade.
And as Josh so aptly points out you did not even get your main point correct.
It was just a bad negative post that the Yinzers from Pittsburgh would be proud of.
I think that I gave you too much credit for knowing much of anything.
Must be difficult to actually say what you mean, so I guess everyone else must read between the lines…?
“When he said the exact opposite situation of the Archer trade, you just have to read between the lines and understand that he meant the Archer trade even though it’s the opposite of what he said. It’s not difficult.”
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Go- How about that Aramis Ramirez for Bobby Hill salary dump?That is an impressive one too.
@theman3. You really are clueless. Are you aware that Huntington.made other trades besides that one? For example, Huntington traded one year of a fading McCuthchen and his bloated salary for Brian Reynolds, Kyle Crick and international bonus money. Most of Huntington’s trades were good trades. With Archer, responding to fan whining as the Pirates’ window was closing, he made a dumb trade, though not as bad as it first looked. I wonder why posters cite the Archer trade and never the Yelich trade as a bad trade.
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Skeptical-Regarding your last question,methinks that it is because it is easiest to pile on a team when it is down,and cite what seems to be the obvious to the not so inquiring mind.
As you are well aware as a veteran on this site,some posters just are not the brightest bulbs in the pack and tend to be overly negative,whereas other posters try to be fair and give even handed and knowledgeable opinions
I also always thought that no trade could be worse than the Archer trade.
It was a gamble that did not pay off as hoped.
I think the Clay Holmes trade may be even worse since there was really no need to trade him.
Why would you trade a controllable pitcher for a couple of infield prospects when we really did not have a need there? I hope I am wrong but I don’t think either player we received will be better than average.
I read in the Pittsburgh Tribune where Stratton is quoted as saying most of the staff thought that Holmes had the best stuff on the team.
Um, there was no Bonilla trade. I believe the term most frequently used to describe how he left the Pirates is “free agency”.
I don’t want this guy anywhere near my team during a pennant race or especially the playoffs. Don’t trust him, even a little.
Back to White Sox!
Jose would not be a bad addition to the Orioles
As a free agent sure. Right now it would be a awful addition.
I wouldn’t mind the Yankees making a run at Quintana instead of the bigger guys like Montas and Castillo. They had a first hand look at him last night and he pitched quite well
Yankees don’t seem to need a mid rotation starter.
A lot of reports say they’re in the market for a SP. If they balk at the asking price for the top guys, Quintana could be an option. Nestor and Sevy could both be on innings limits as the season goes on and Taillon has struggled lately so they’re probably going to get someone
Reports say the Yankees are in the market for lots of things every year and then the deadline passes. A struggling Taillon seems about the same as Quintana to me. With their massive lead they could save those guys innings for playoffs. Hope they are interested and can never have enough arms but I don’t see a dire need there.
no……this guy would be eaten alive by the AL East teams…killed by Boston, Tampa, especially Toronto and probably even Baltimore.
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None of those teams are as good as the Yankees and he did pretty well yesterday.
@Ricetto – I agree that the Jays make a ton of sense here. Both Berrios and and Kikuchi have been very disappointing this year and they’ve had injuries to their other starters as well. If the Jays want to compete for the playoffs, they need to add more dependable starting pitching.
Wouldn’t call his consistent diet of off speed stuff “dependable”…..he doesn’t scare anyone with his fastball, and if he’s off with the rest of his off-speed stuff, he won’t get through a line-up twice……although, PLEASE Jays go get him….love to see them load up on mediocre, aging pitching.
@rocky7 he’s gone 5 or more in 11 starts and just pitched 1-run ball against one of the best lineups in baseball yesterday. I’m sure 99.99% of Jays fans would rather have him out there every 5 days instead of Kikuchi.
expect a two year extension
Lets all name different teams.
The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings. I wonder if he minds changing his name to Carlos Nevada?
Doosan Bears! Fuban Guardians! Long Island Ducks! Savannah Bananas!
The bananas need him
he’s basically a .500 pitcher, win one, lose one.
Luckily W/L record for pitchers is meaningless.
All baseball stats are meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
Everything is meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
What he meant was he looks great when his curveball is in the zone and looks like he sucks when it doesn’t the next start….he has no fastball any longer wo he’s a “guile” pitcher at this point.
Trade him now! get something while you can
– Kyle Hendricks
Thrives when no pressure to win, but can chew up innings/act as depth for a team trying to preserve its main rotation arms.
He would be a bigger name if the White Sox had scored more runs for him. He was the Sox modern day Joel Horlen. Also, the bullpen blew a lot of his games. He should have had 5 to 7 more wins per season.
Joel Horlen?!! WOW! I’m guessing a name not known much outside of the Southside of Chicago? much more interesting than all of us naming teams Quintana might get traded to – Love it!
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Not any more than just using your first initial and changing the first vowel of your second name to “a”!Baseball in the 60’s was so much different than it is now.
Joel Horlen: Prunella, thanks for bringing him up in your post. As a White Sox fan back in the sixties, a northern kid with his ear pinned to the transistor radio, the last week of the ’67 season was just about the most exciting than any since. The team couldn’t hit a lick, but they could pitch; the trio of starters the Sox had in Horlen, Gary Peters and Tommy John was among the best in baseball, but sadly that final weekend was a lost one, and the other Sox went on to the World Series.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Transistor radio? Wot, no streaming?
It is amazing that teams are looking at his 3 month performance in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league instead of his mediocre performance over the last 4 years. I guess it makes sense when you think about it. People often judge teams’ yearly success on the last dozen or so games of the postseason instead of the 162 games of the regular season.
The SP trade market this year is pretty thin beyond Montas, Castillo, and Mahle and all of those guys come with a high asking price. That leads to a relatively high demand for guys like Quintana
Good point, Ronk. Especially now with Hendricks down and out. it’s only going to increase the competition for these guys.
and now Montas with shoulder issues. getting thinner each day
SF has fallen out of contention and has Rodon as a rental. He’s been pretty lights out, could definitely help a contending team.
2 games out of the Wild card race on July 6 is out of contention? I don’t think the Giants feel that way.
Have you watched them play lately? They’ve dropped 10 straight and look pretty moribund.
I’m curious as to why nobody is talking about Syndergaard as a deadline trade candidate. One-year contract on a team that’s not contending this year, and it seems he’s been pitching well. Seems like he’d be somebody who contending teams would be all over. Am I missing something?
You might as well just said thin. Mahle just went on the IL with a shoulder strain and Montas will miss his next start with shoulder inflammation.
The SP market might be thin, but is it worth it to disrupt a winning team with a mediocre SP just to trade? It would likely be better to just stand pat and keep what you have
If you have a really good soup and then add the best smelling piece of dog crap to it, the whole thing is still going to be ruined.
When a team makes changes and a pitcher is attacking differently then yes teams will look at the current version of that pitcher vs the one who pitched differently in years past. Makes zero sense to evaluate someone who no longer exists.
Track record means nothing. Got it.
Previous track record will hold down his value, but what he has done lately can’t just be ruled as a fluke, either, so it will create some interest. No one is betting on 2023 or 2024 here. Just August and September.
Hope we get a decent return. Q should bring back more than Tyler Anderson did last season. He’s doing better and has more pedigree than Anderson did.
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With high demand BC needs to at least get a good AA prospect.
He did not get enough for Anderson.
The problem is now he needs the 25 and 40 man roster spots opened up.
with any luck, including Van Meter in a trade could open up a roster spot
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They will have to dfa Van Meter and will do so within a few days to open a spot for Newman.
Anderson was Solid as a #5 guy, and with him being a rental, we were never going to get that much back. I’m happy with Tejada because I think he has a bright future. Bins I’m not sold on, but that’s fine if he turns into a 2nd catcher.
We need to get back a decent pitching prospect who will be in the majors by the second half of 2023. Not one who projects as a back of the rotation guy at most, someone who will actually get the job done as a #3 starter. If we have to throw Gamel into the trade to, so be it. I’d rather have e Swaggerty, Mitchell, or Bae up here for Gamel.
Gamel will be sent away in a different trade. Odds of finding one team that wants both players and is willing to give the best prospects for both aren’t good.
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MLB-Swaggerty will stay down the rest of this year as he has gotten the ML taste.Remember that he has not played for two years so he needs the reps.
Mitchell I believe is hitting over 400 or so since he was optioned so he certainly wants to come back.Seems like it would be him or Allen.
Bae will come up after the trade deadline opens up some spots.Bolten also.
as of right now going into 2023 I’d rather have Gamel, Reynolds and Cruz in the OF with Peguero at SS. with Bae sharing time at SS/2b/OF
Cruz is passable at short, he does turn a good double play but other wise he’s not very good He has a gun of an arm but seems to skip to first a lot
but if we could get a decent starter with a package including gamel, i wouldn’t mind
He traded Anderson twice to 2 of the most desperate teams in need of a back end starter and both times got a back up catcher and lotto ticket reliever. I would say that was the market for Anderson. I am sure Ben was hoping for more.
Anderson had his best season since his rookie year with the Pirates last year and it was just descent. His ERA was only 4.35. They did good getting Tejada for him and he is doing well in the FCL this season. He is only 18 still but I remember reading when that trade was made that a lot of baseball people were pretty high on Tejada. Not a soul saw what Anderson doing this year coming.
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Actually if you recall,just three games,including one when Shelton let him dangle,inflated that ERA almost one run.
He pitched very well for the Pirates and BC has hit another home run with Q.
I am not up on any A players but the chance of any becoming solid ML players is very low.I will take your word on Tejada though.
And,no,I was not playing Monday morning quarterback as many do on this site.
I’m hoping Q gets traded for the Dodgers for a lottery ticket in A-ball. They seem to not mind trading away gifted players for rental pitchers.
Like the Watson for Cruz trade?
He pitches fine with nothing on the line. Put him in a pressure situation? Good luck. See: his history w the Cubs.
This guy is pretty decent
Angels sign him
This guy had the worst year of his career
He signs elsewhere
This guy is good again.
Just saw Quintana pitch against the Yankees……with no sour grapes, he pitched a good 5 inning game and wasn’t allowed to go beyond the lineup a second time……was up 5-1 at the time…..got by on guile…certainly not velocity as he curved the Yankees to death….got to tip your cap but if anyone is looking for this guy to be savior, he’s walking a very narrow path to pitching a competitive game.
Wasn’t allowed to go further because he had thrown 96 pitches in 5 innings. He is the most marketable trade chip at the moment so they are not going to take a change and have him throw 115-120 pitches to get through 6 instead of 5. A solid team heading to the playoffs is looking for a guy who knows how to pitch and is better than their 5 guy is at the moment. They are not looking for a savior rather they are looking for a solid vet who can be their insurance policy for a playoff run. incase of an injury and he is cheap. He definitely fits the bill for what several teams are looking for.
He has stunk for the last five years. and I doubt his ERA after the All-Star break is below 4.
This is why the Angels suck. When they sign a 1 yr guy who does well, instead of trading for prospects, they think theyre contenders, extend him 2 yrs, and then he regresses the following year. Like w Dylan Bundy.
The Angels didn’t extend Bundy for two years. They didn’t extend him for even one year.
Since your example sucks, who exactly are you talking about? And how is that like Quintana?
Are you saying the Angels should take flyers on players, and if they are performing well at the deadline, they should trade them?
They should have already traded Syndergaard.
Different kind of example, than Bundy. But I have no issue with the Angels trading Thor.
And the Angels have not had a lot of opportunities to trade players doing well in a walk year.
Don’t worry about it…..his main pitch was the curveball…..doesn’t scare anyone with his fastball…..I wouldn’t call his pitching so far “doing well”…..he’ll lull you to sleep with off-speed stuff but you won’t see him the 3rd time through the lineup as the Bucs know that’s his Mendoza line.
Yes they need to be sellers more often. Or they overvalue their prospects and their trade pickups that play well. They couldve traded Adell when he had value. Fletcher Im not sure worthy of a 5yr deal and couldve been dealt. Bundy couldve been traded at the deadline. Simmons couldve been dealt in 2020. La Stella couldve brought more in return when he was traded.
Fair comment about the Angels throwing in the towel sooner and selling.
Not fair comment about Bundy. They were not going to trade the best pitcher on their staff in a non walk year, and they couldn’t trade him for anything last year. I’m sure they would have loved to trade him last year..
About Fletcher, when I commented about that not being a great deal for the Angels, virtually every fan wanted to tar and feather me.
And if you say that about Adell, you could also say that about Marshnor Sandoval or Ward or Walsh. When you know what young prospects to give up, and when, then you are smarter than any front office in baseball.
According to Fangraphs, His expected ERA is 4.37, which is not that much different than it’s been over the last five years.
He doesn’t pitch in a good division, I wouldn’t expect him to be much better than he’s been over the previous 5 years.
This is a great example of selling high and not getting what you think you are paying for. Most GMs have figured out his value.
Quintana was awful last year with the Angels. Glad to see that he figured things out in Pittsburgh, but I wouldn’t take a chance on him if I’m a contending team. Good chance he won’t hold up post all-star game.
He was awful, but his expected ERA was 5.02. But he’s been pretty bad for a long time. I have no idea why most Angel fans liked the signing.
Most GMs are smart, they are not going to pay for this guy expecting an ERA under 4, and no one smart is going to give anything remotely interesting for him.
Either the best or worst trade was Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease for Jose, they are arguably the Sox best players, Cub fans are still pissed
In two weeks the Cubs are planning on sending Keegan Thompson, Brennan David and Contreras to the Pirates for him.
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Cynical-But if you do It today,the Pirates will throw in Josh Van Meter and $5000.But only for today.
He’ll get you a prospect that is blocked at the MLB level and if he goes to someone like the Yankees or Dodgers his 4.30 era won’t matter if he can get through 5 innings, because they put 4+ on the board for him already.
Should trade him for Eloy Jimenez and Dylan cease
To Mets for Dom & Szapucki.
Not going to pull in a lot but maybe a mid-range prospect and maybe milb depth.. Or if it is part of another team’s salary dump.. maybe more.
Pirates are in a good position to take on someone else’s salary as long as it is only a year or two and can fill some sort of role.
If nothing else Jose can bring some quality innings for a contender on the road to the play offs to save some of the main rotation’s arms.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Cubs should get him. Thinking maybe a prospect pitcher like Dylan Cease and a journeyman like Eloy Jimenez cold get the deal done.
That would make for an interesting deal for the Cubs to trade a couple of White Sox players to the Pirates to get a pitcher.
I personally think the Braves need 1 more starter. I’m concerned they will put Strider in the pen, Wright hasn’t looked quite as sharp as of late, and Morton has been somewhat up and down this year. Kinda need another solid 5th starter. Think big Q might be that answer, but concerned he will cost too much in prospect capital for his true worth and/or for what the Braves actually have