Let’s try to make a deal between the Astros and White Sox for Jose Quintana, again!
Have you ever had a person who never took no for an answer? Come on! You know you want to! I’ve been into certain furniture stores where they won’t take no for an answer. “What would it take for you to make a deal with us?” Then the classic, “let me go get the owner and he can express how much we want your business.” These are called pressure sales, which is what the White Sox are doing to the Astros.
You might say, why didn’t we barge out of the store? We were trying to see how low the seller will lower the price. We knew we wanted the couch, but we didn’t need it that bad. This is the situation the Astros are in, they want a top of the rotation pitcher, but do they really need one? Yes, you can reverse that statement as well. They may need a pitcher, but they don’t want another pitcher.
Peter Gammons tweeted that the White Sox had scouts at the Astros-Marlins game. When the scout was asked if it was about Jose Quintana? The scout replied, “yes, Stros’ still trying.” Who is the aggressor in this trade discussion? The White Sox may not need to trade Quintana, but they might want to make a deal. He is under a very team friendly contract. They could easily retain him to build the future around.
Quintana is set to make $36.85 over the next four seasons, with only two seasons guaranteed at $15.85. That averages about $9 million per season for a 200-innings pitcher with a career ERA of 3.41. He also is averaging 175 strikeouts over four of his five years.
If the Astros are pushing for Quintana, the must believe that they have played hard to get for long enough. The White Sox have been pretty stubborn in not backing down. They initially discussed Alex Bregman and others for Chris Sale. The Astros shut that down quickly. When Sale was traded, they wanted Joe Musgrove in addition to Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, and others for Quintana. That is a large package for Quintana. The Astros backed away again.
Restarting the talks?
According to Jim Bowden, the “White Sox continue to work hard on Jose Quintana.” He went on to say that a trade could happen before the start of the season. He mentions the Astros and the Braves as the possible targets. No mention of the Rangers or Red Sox, which could be a good thing. The White Sox have already raided the Red Sox cabinet with the Sale trade. The Rangers have traded talent away over the past few seasons.
While nothing is imminent at the moment, Jeff Passan thinks that a trade could happen at any moment. The White Sox will trade Quintana, but only for the right price. Passan also confirmed Gammons tweet by saying the White Sox have been spotted around the Astros backfields. Could the White Sox be looking for other options if the Astros are still unwilling to trade Martes and Tucker?
Could they be looking at maybe Derek Fisher or Collin Moran? Maybe A.J. Reed‘s hot Spring have upped his value a little? There are several young pitchers they could be looking at. The White Sox want both, but maybe they are more focused on Martes or Tucker. Martes has the makings of a Johnny Cueto type pitcher, and Tucker could be special. Could the two sides agree to a compromise where one of the big prospects gets moved, the other stays?
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Patience Mr. Luhnow.
On Talking Stros, we have mentioned that we think the Astros will wait until June to make a trade. They want to access what they have, then if they feel like it’s not enough, they can go ‘all in’ for Quintana. How healthy are Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers for the long-run? Is Charlie Morton‘s performance this Spring sustainable? Despite throwing 41 pitches in a minor league game today, will Collin McHugh be ready? Will Musgrove or Martes solidify a spot in the rotation?
Right now there are too many what if’s. If the Astros remain patient, they will have a better feel for the needs of the team. The world may be telling them they need an ace, but is Quintana worth the risk? I still think that Quintana will be an Astro, but not sure if it will be by opening day. Then again, if the Braves or Pirates get serious about trading for him, he would not be available if they wait.
If the price is right and the time is right, the White Sox and Astros will make a deal at some point. Why add Quintana? He could change this team from a contender for the playoffs to a contender for the World Series. Do you think the Astros need Quintana? Be careful about what you wish for. You might get an expensive luxury couch that you don’t need, just because you couldn’t say no. Or you could sell that couch for less than you could have gotten for it.
***Stats and salary information from Baseball-Reference***