With the extra draft picks, will the Astros finally make the trade for Quintana?
Spring training officially kicks off in 12 days, will Jose Quintana be wearing black or blue? This offseason was a really hectic one for the Astros’ front office. But it has been relatively quiet since the winter meetings. I’m not saying that Jeff Luhnow has sat in his office trying to figure out the Rubix Cube. Luhnow has looked at opportunities to make this squad playoff ready for 2017.
The Astros are at a point, two years after a return to winning baseball, where they have to balance the ‘now’ with the ‘future’. It’s really easy to see the opportunity to acquire a player to win now and pounce. Luhnow has done that before when he traded for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. With George Springer on the DL then, he felt that they needed another outfielder for the 2015 playoff push.
Looking back, that trade did not work out for Luhnow. Sometimes trades don’t work out the way you think they will. You can’t fault Luhnow for making that Gomez-Fiers trade, you have to commend him for restraining a little for Quintana. They want to win, but the don’t want to deplete the farm system like they did during the Drayton McLane era. He’s being extra careful now to make sure he gets the right deal.
What the White Sox want.
Peter Gammons said that the White Sox were looking for a package including Alex Bregman for Chris Sale. When the Astros said no, they moved Sale to the Red Sox. Gammons also suggested that they asked for Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, and Joseph Musgrove for Quintana. Luhnow once again thought that price was too high.
We talked with Jim Callis last night on Talking Stros and he believes that a deal won’t get done without Tucker and Martes. Callis believes that the Astros made a prudent decision to not trade that package, but they may need to at some point. Martes could be MLB ready this year. As my co-host said, are we more likely to see Martes or Quintana win the MVP of the World Series this year? Answer that one yourself.
Now that you had a second to think about it, your answer determines which route you want to go. If you chose Martes, you believe that having him on the team would be better. You are probably against trading for Quintana. If you voted for Quintana, you think he is good enough a pitcher to trade Martes for. When the position rankings come out, Callis feels like Martes is the second best right-handed pitching prospect in baseball.
What has changed?
"“We’re hoping that something will break,” Crane said. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that … getting two picks from the Cardinals gives us more depth in the system. We’re still looking into it.” Via Bob Nightengale."
According to Bob Nightengale, Astros’ owner Jim Crane told him that the extra two picks they received via Cardinals could change things. Crane expressed that the extra picks could allow the Astros to part with some prospects in a trade. If they were to trade two or more prospects, they could try to replace them with the 56th and 75th picks. Sounds like a plan!
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The talks between the two clubs have been rumored to have picked back up. The White Sox have made it clear that they will not back down from the asking price. They could be focused on two top prospects and a good third piece. It will be a matter of negotiations at this point. As much as we need or want Quintana, we have to understand why they don’t want to trade Martes or Tucker.
I think that Quintana will be an Astro at some point this season. The Astros may be willing to wait and pay more at the trade deadline when they know they need him. Right now, they have arguably six qualified starters in the rotation. They might want to see what they got first.
With the money that he has left, four years and $36.85 million left on his deal, Quintana would be a good fit for the Houston Astros. That is a very team friendly contract which is why he will hold value now and at the August 1st non-waiver trade deadline. They have the prospects the White Sox want. It could be just a matter of when.
***Salary from Baseball-Reference***