Over the offseason there were a lot of rumors that the Yankees might be pursuing Chicago White Sox LHP Jose Quintana. At the time the White Sox were in the middle of a blazing fire sale and looting just about every team’s farm system who they came into contact with. Basically what the Yanks did at last season’s trade deadline. It seems inevitable after Chicago unloaded Chris Sale on the Red Sox that Quintana would be soon to follow. The rumors reached fever pitch in December, and then basically died down for the most part.
Now, however, it’s being reported that the demand for Quintana is still high, and the Yankees are one of four teams still pursuing the pitcher. The other supposed teams include the Astros, Cardinals, and Pirates. White Sox GM Rick Hahn said it’s about continuing and building off of conversations that he had previously held with those teams.
Quintana actually came up through the Yankees system, but he became a minor league free agent in 2011 and the team chose not to resign him. That’s when Chicago picked him up. Over the last five seasons, the 28-year old pitcher has been (underratedly) one of the best pitchers in the game since his debut. He has pitched more than 200 innings in each of his last four seasons, and during that span his ERA has ranged from 3.20 to 3.51. He has a career ERA of 3.41 and a career FIP of 3.47.
The real selling point on Quintana though is in addition to his performance, he is under team control for four more years at $38 million, which is an absolute steal for a pitcher of his caliber. In short, Chicago’s asking price will be high.
Obviously the Yankees need pitching, but I’m hesitant to say they should sell the farm for this guy seeing as how it will probably take at least a couple top tier prospects to land him. This team is not a starting pitcher away from a World Series title this season, and I think it would be better for them to wait this one out and see what other opportunities comes their way at the trade deadline and through upcoming free agents. Guys like Jake Arrieta and Marco Estrada will be hitting the market after this season, and the Yankees may be better suited pursuing those options, rather than giving up a bunch of prospects right now.