The Hot Stove may be cool now, but it can heat up in a second for the Astros.
Remember when the Astros were reportedly curious in numerous starting pitchers? Yeah, me too. And while the rumors have been less rampant in the last few weeks, a move still could happen. At any time.
It’s not that surprising that Houston is still in on Jose Quintana, the talented Chicago White Sox pitcher. After all, the Astros could use another proven starter in the rotation. That has been well documented.
The curious part of this rumor is whether the Astros would be moved to meet the White Sox and their (rightfully) high demands.
As you may recall, there was a rumor out there that Chicago approached Houston asking for at least Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, and Joseph Musgrove in any deal for Quintana. That is an awfully high price for any player. But it would be difficult to argue any team’s reasoning to make a deal that could catapult them in the standings. Don’t forget that Quintana (4.8 WAR in 2016) has been arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball the past few seasons.
The most valuable aspect of any deal acquiring Quintana, outside of his obvious skill set, would be the contract.
Not only is he making nowhere near the money he could command on the open market, but also length of his deal with attractive team options. Essentially he could help anchor an Astros rotation through 2020, which coincides with the team’s competitive window opening.
However, I must advise that the Astros are (rightfully) reluctant to part ways with their top prospects. While there is no guarantee that these young players will ever pan out, talent is still talent. Anytime a team requests your top pitching AND position prospects, you better weigh out the pros and cons.
At the end of the day, the Astros rotation may be just good enough. The offense that Jeff Luhnow has put together will be a formidable unit. But you can never have enough pitching. Postseason baseball, if you get there, is a completely different animal than the regular season. A healthy and effective Quintana could make all the difference in 2017.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**