When the Cubs first acquired Jose Quintana from the White Sox during the 2017 All-Star break, I couldn’t quite figure out what I liked most about the move.
Despite it costing a pretty-prospect-penny (namely: Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease), the Cubs were adding a MUCH-needed starter down the stretch – you *could* argue that the 92-70 Cubs might not have made the postseason, let alone the NLCS, without him – as well as a cost-controlled starter for the three years that followed. And despite his first-half struggles this season, he turned it on in the second half and once again helped the Cubs reach the postseason – just think about life without Quintana, when Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood proved themselves effectively unusable (for one reason or another) and Mike Montgomery was on the DL.
Of course, his expected production wasn’t the only important part of the deal. Quintana also brought along with him an extremely team-friendly contract.
In 2017, Quintana earned just $6M and in 2018 he was paid just $8.35M. Even if he was a lot worse than he was, that is some very manageable pay, which allows the front office to add significantly around him. But his contract offered even more advantages. In 2019 and 2020, the Cubs have equally affordable club options over Quintana with minimal buyouts.
Given how good he has been in his career, how good he was last season, his youth, and his remaining upside, picking up the $10.5M club option for 2019 figured to be a no-brainer … and it was.
Today, the Cubs exercised their 2019 club option on Jose Quintana, ensuring his spot in the Cubs organization for another year (absent a very unlikely trade). Next season will be Quintana’s age-30 season, and they have him under control (via another $10.5M club option) for 2020, as well.
Even if he doesn’t improve on his final season numbers with the Cubs from 2018 (4.03 ERA, which was league average), that figures to be a fine deal and rotational lock. Even league-average starters find their way into competitive rotations. Obviously you hope for more.
So, good for the Cubs rotation, good for the financial flexibility of the front office, and good for all of us, who get to see him try to reach that ceiling of his at least one more time as a Chicago Cub.
If you’re looking for a bit more on Jose Quintana’s 2018 season and how it stacked up to his previous production, Brett has you covered right here. In the meantime, we’re very glad to have him back.