We’ve been tracking Jose Quintana trade rumors pretty closely here at BN, not only because I am personally interested in virtually all trade rumors of moderate significance, but also because a pitcher of Quintana’s caliber being traded is likely to generate an impact around the league, regardless of the team to which he is traded. Moreover, since we know the White Sox are aggressively rebuilding and Quintana is a highly-valuable trade chip, we know something very well could happen at any time.
That’s a long-winded way of saying: these Quintana rumors are important to follow, even if we can state with confidence that he won’t be traded to the Cubs.
At last check, there was a chance Quintana could be dealt before the open of the season, but the Trade Deadline was looking more likely, and the interested teams included the Pirates, Astros, and Braves.
It looks even more likely that the next pit stop on the possible trade time line is the Trade Deadline, as Jon Heyman reports today. No surprise there. But the big new addition to the Quintana rumor mill? The Cardinals could be involved.
Heyman writes that the Cardinals could be a “sleeper team” in on Quintana (can’t call them a “Mystery Team” if the identity is out there, after all). Heyman says the Cardinals have quietly showed interest the 28-year-old lefty, and then points out the pieces they might have to get a deal done, including Tommy John surgery recipient Alex Reyes, and top catching prospect Carson Kelly.
If Quintana becomes a Trade Deadline target for teams, then the first half of the season will go a long way toward dictating which teams are the most aggressive (and whether their trade chips – or Quintana – still have the same value they hold today). And if the Cardinals are interested, then clearly they aren’t buying projections that have them finishing near the bottom of the NL Central this year.
With two of the Cubs’ NL Central rivals, the Cardinals and Pirates, among the reportedly interested teams, we will have to continue to follow this closely. Getting an impact arm like Quintana’s for the next four years on an affordable deal would obviously greatly benefit the near-term window of these teams, but, as we’ve seen with the prices for these kinds of controlled starting pitchers, there are considerations on the other side, too.