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Jose Quintana Coming Back to the NL Central, Signing with the Pirates

Chicago Cubs

It’s been a weekend for left-handed pitching old friends to sign elsewhere in the NL Central. Yesterday, it was Kyle Ryan signing a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. This time, it’s Jose Quintana getting a job with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It’s a one-year big league deal worth $2 million:

Quintana, 32, was fantastic for the Cubs in the second half of 2017 after he was acquired from the White Sox, but he was acquired to be much more than a rental. The three reasonably-priced years of team control thereafter were kinda supposed to be *the thing,* and unfortunately it was a disappointing run. Periodic stretches of solid performance were punctuated by periods of extremely short outings and too many barrels, and then uncharacteristic wildness.

Things didn’t get better for him with the Angels and then the Giants last year, when the strikeout rate spiked, but the walks exploded and he was getting hammered. It was like the worst version of what we saw of him with the Cubs. You wonder whether this will be his last guaranteed big league deal if he doesn’t turn it around in a major way with the Pirates.

It’s hard not to get superficial Francisco Liriano vibes here, with a formerly great lefty who had started to look washed, then landing with the Pirates on a cheap deal … and totally reinventing himself. The big difference, of course, is that Quintana is three years older now than Liriano was when he came to the Pirates. So there’s probably not much there besides the very superficial level.

I kinda look forward to when the Cubs first face Quintana this coming season. (Feel free to remind me of that sentence when he owns them over six shutout innings … )



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.