6:50 pm: The club has announced both transactions. Quintana will remain under club control for the 2020 season, while Holland has been bought out.
6:25 pm: As expected, the Cubs have exercised their 2020 team option on starter Jose Quintana, as first reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (link). The club declined its 2020 team option on hurler Derek Holland.
Quintana’s option for 2020 comes in at $10.5MM, while the club could have paid him a $1MM buyout if it preferred that he walk. The left-hander hasn’t been quite the same pitcher since changing Chicago sides midway through the 2017 season, but a $9.5MM proposition for a mid-to-back-rotation type is still a reasonably palatable option. Quintana’s 4.68 ERA in 2019 was his worst mark since breaking into the league back in 2012, but underlying metrics like FIP (3.80) and BABIP (.326) indicate that he may have been subject to more than his fair share of bad luck last year. Quintana carries a cumulative 4.23 ERA with the Cubs since being acquired from the White Sox in 2017 in exchange for a package headlined by Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
Holland carried a $7MM club option for 2020, but the club instead chose to buy him out for $500k. That likely represented an easy pass for Chicago management, as Holland was largely limited to relief in 2020 after a rocky start to the year for San Francisco (the lefty was designated in July and subsequently acquired by Chicago in a minor deal). While Holland has recorded sub-4.00 ERAs as a full-time starting pitcher in 2011, 2013, and 2018, he has pitched to an ERA exceeding 6.00 in two of his last three seasons. The sinkerballer posted a Hard Hit percentage of 42.1% last year according to Statcast, placing him in the bottom 8% of the sport in that category.