A Chicago White Sox scout has attended a few New York Yankees Spring Training games, leading to speculation that the Bronx may be in All-Star starter Jose Quintana’s future.
While the 2016-17 offseason has been a relatively quiet winter for the New York Yankees, the team still has time to make a splash before Opening Day. According to a report from the New York Post, a Chicago White Sox scout has been seen at several of the Yankees’ Spring Training games, which some within the sport believes indicates that they’re still considering New York as a possible destination for 28-year-old lefty Jose Quintana.
Aside from winning the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes in December and grabbing Matt Holliday on a one-year deal, there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding the Yankees. The team has one of the top farm systems in the game but GM Brian Cashman and the front office have been pretty keen on keeping their young talent in pinstripes.
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Quintana is coming off the best season of his career, having set personal bests in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and innings pitched. He earned his first All-Star nod and finished 10th in AL Cy Young voting. Quintana is well-established and has a strong track record of staying healthy — he’s one of six pitchers with at least 200 innings each of the past four years.
If the Yankees do hope to land Quintana, they’re most likely going to have to part ways with one of their key prospects. Based on the packages Chicago landed in the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton deals, they aren’t going to be dropping their asking price. However, according to the Post article, “the Yankees won’t trade Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield or Aaron Judge, and that might take them out of the mix.”
New York’s future looks bright to say the least, but this team intends to contend sooner rather than later. If it does hope to compete in the daunting AL East, some pitching help is probably needed. The injury-prone Masahiro Tanaka and 36-year-old CC Sabathia headline the front end of its rotation — and that’s where the question marks begin, not end.
The White Sox are in the midst of a full rebuild and Quintana’s contract gives them four years of control over the Colombian pitcher. While they may have the incentive to keep him around for once their prospects start hitting the majors, it makes all the sense in the world to deal him if the price is right. New York has the pieces to make it happen, but it all depends on whether the front office is willing to meet their demands.