Dealing Quintana could make sense for White Sox
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Jose Quintana has been a consistently good starting pitcher for the White Sox, so good, in fact, that they might consider trading him in the offseason.
Why? Because he has value, and the White Sox’ shortage of position player depth might prompt general manager Rick Hahn to deal from a strength – pitching — to patch some holes in his roster.
“The strength of the system is obviously pitching, and at the big league level,’’ Hahn said last week. “Over the course of the first five months of the season, most of our issues have been on the offensive side of things. Come the offseason it may be something we have to look at as sort of reallocating some of those assets to address player position needs.’’
Losing Quintana, who recorded his 20th quality start with three earned runs allowed (four total) over six innings in the White Sox’ 5-4 win over the Red Sox Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, would be a significant hit. Since 2012, he ranks in the top six among American League lefthanders in ERA (3.53), strikeouts, quality starts, innings and home runs per nine innings. He’s second in the AL in quality starts this season.
Along with that he is steady, upbeat hardworking and respected in the clubhouse.
Above everything else, perhaps, Quintana, 26, is under control through 2012 with two club options on the back end of a $26.5 million contract. That kind of deal makes him desirable to both the Sox and other clubs.
But the Sox have room for upgrades all over the field for 2016, including possibly at third base, shortstop, catcher and the outfield. With so many desired upgrades, they almost have to settle on Carlos Sanchez at second base.
While free agents such as shortstop Ian Desmond and catcher Matt Wieters could be out there in their price range, the Sox have probably fared better via the trade route and might prefer to go that route. The Red Sox, with position-player depth in their system and new boss Dave Dombrowski looking to shake things up, might be willing to let outfielders fielder Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo go in a swap involving Quintana. How about Dodgers shortstop prospect Corey Seager, a 2012 first-round draft choice, in a package for Quintana?
With left-handers Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon alone, the Sox have more quality left-handed starting pitching than a lot of teams, so front office discussions in the coming weeks as the Sox plan for 2016 will no doubt involve Quintana.
Whether Quintana is dealt may come down to what the return would be, but the Sox might be forced to deal from a strength to change a mix that hasn’t worked in 2015.
“It’s going to take some creativity,’’ a veteran AL Central scout said of the Sox, “and you still are counting on all those other [underachieving] guys to bounce back.’’
Another scout, citing Quintana’s age and track record, cautioned against dealing him.
“Don’t cut your nose to spite your face,’’ he said.