The Houston Astros could still be in the Jose Quintana trade talks, but another team is making a strong push.
Even after trade talks broke off between the Astros and White Sox over Jose Quintana, I didn’t believe it was dead. It makes too much sense for both teams. ‘It’s destiny’ (in my best George McFly voice). The two sides will dance around a little before ultimately agreeing on the proper package. This will be an expensive package because Quintana is an above average pitcher.
White Sox fans don’t understand why we think that Quintana is not a good pitcher. Peter Gammons reported that the White Sox were asking for Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, and Joseph Musgrove. If this was accurate, I can understand why Jeff Luhnow took a step back to consider.
While it was good to see that Alex Bregman was not on the table, three of the Astros top young players were on the list. You have to give talent to get talent, but those three mentioned as a package could be too much. However, any combination of two of the three plus others will be okay. The player I’m hung up on is Musgrove.
Yes, Martes could become the ace with his stuff and makeup. As Luhnow said recently, he has some things to work on first. Tucker could become a superstar, but he is at least two years away from MLB action. We have seen what Musgrove can do, and we recognize his talents. He has a ceiling of a top of the rotation starter and a floor of a third or fourth starter.
It’s not that Quintana is not worth those three players, but instead, the Astros see Musgrove as part of the future.
I would like to keep Musgrove out of the equation. I know the White Sox would like to get MLB ready talent, but they won’t take Collin McHugh or Mike Fiers. After Will had written the letter to Jeff Luhnow about not trading George Springer, he went from untouchable to a ‘don’t even think about it.’ Alex Bregman is out of the question.
The only players that could be inserted are possibly Teoscar Hernandez, A.J. Reed, or Michael Feliz. The later could be an attractive option if the White Sox seek a controllable MLB ready starter. Feliz could be that piece, but will the Astros even need to trade for Quintana? Dave Cameron, with Fangraphs, recently wrote that the Astros current rotation is good enough.
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With Edwin Encarnacion finally off the market, the Astros can turn to improving the rotation. While they don’t need to get another top of the rotation pitcher, it would be nice to do so. We had A.J. Hinch on this week’s Talking Stros, and he felt that they would be good enough if healthy. He said that they would stretch Chris Devenski out this Spring. If Keuchel and McCuulers are healthy, he has faith in them. He also raved about what Musgrove can offer.
Hinch also mentioned that he went down to Carlos Beltran‘s Puerto Rico tour to support a few of his players. Quintana was down there as well, so they were joking with him about whether he needs to come with Hinch back to Houston.
Adding a player like Quintana would be the final piece to the puzzle. If they don’t acquire a starter before the season starts, if needed, they will have the same resources available then. It appears that the Pirates are making a strong push for Jose Quintana. Ken Rosenthal reports that they are doing so even after re-signing Ivan Nova.
Wherever Quintana goes, he will help that team win. If the Astros get him, great, but we are okay without him. If I had to guess, Luhnow will try to acquire a starter or go to battle with what he has. Yesterday, I wrote about Encarnacion; later he signed with the Indians. Maybe this article will get Jose Quintana on the move.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***