White Sox set rotation for Mariners — Jose Quintana slated for Sunday

The White Sox announced their probable starting pitchers for the weekend series against the Mariners, which opens the second half at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The trio of pitchers includes left-hander Jose Quintana, the subject of trade rumors since last winter, rumors which are ramping up in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Quintana is slated to start the series finale Sunday afternoon, with right-hander James Shields pitching Friday and lefty Derek Holland going Saturday.

The Sox will be coming off a four-day rest after going 38-49, the worst record in the American League, before the All-Star break.

Quintana, who has a team-friendly contract and consistent career record, has improved after a poor start and is one of the top two starting pitchers on the market along with Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray. The Sox are believed to be seeking two top prospects in a package.

Jose Quintana throws in the sixth inning against the Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday in Denver, Colorado. (Getty Images)

“And although the asking price is still high, they aren’t expecting the same return as for [Chris] Sale anymore,’’ an AL source said Wednesday. “But there aren’t many quality starting pitchers, and none with such a favorable long-term contract [with team options through 2020] than Quintana. Small adjustment by the Sox, and he is gone. It seems like this whole thing is shifting more toward a fairness category for both sides.’’

Quintana’s value seems to be near, if not at, where it was going into the season even though the 28-year-old Colombian has a 4.49 ERA after posting ERAs of 3.76, 3.51, 3.32, 3.36 and 3.20 in his first five seasons, all with the Sox. In his last seven starts, Quintana has a 2.70 ERA, and if his last two starts of May against the Red Sox and Diamondbacks in which he gave up seven and eight runs are thrown out, his ERA would be 3.42.

Quintana, one of the Sox’ most respected and popular players, has been asked about trade chatter since the first day of spring training and has tried to shrug it off.

“I don’t think about that,’’ Quintana said after his last start Saturday in Colorado in which he fanned 10 in 5„ innings. “I’m focusing on my job. The first half has ended for me. I’ll try to do a better job and recover my body. I know the trades are around me, but that’s part of the game. I don’t have control in that.’’

Quintana said he would prefer to stay with the Sox.

“Absolutely, I want to stay here,’’ he said. “But they know what’s best for us, so I just try to do my job.’’

The Sox also announced right-hander Miguel Gonzalez’s rehabilitation-assignment transfer to Class AA Birmingham. Gonzalez made a start for Class AAA Charlotte on July 6, allowing three runs in 4‰ innings. He went on the disabled list June 18 with AC-joint inflammation in his right shoulder.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

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