White Sox: Will Jose Quintana be Traded this Offseason?

May 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

The offseason is in full swing and the White Sox are reportedly looking to rebuild. Many players have come in trade talks but surprisingly one name we haven’t heard is Jose Quintana.

The Chicago White Sox have be engaging in trade talks surrounding multiple players. We have already heard rumors about Todd Frazier and Chris Sale. However, Jose Quintana‘s name hasn’t come up at all this offseason. That’s surprising considering he has the most value, aside from Sale.

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During the season, it was thought the White Sox would switch into rebuild mode. That meant we would see a lot of moves at the deadline. This turned out to be false and the organization stood pat. Now, with free agency open, and a weak crop of free agent pitchers, trade talks involving top pitchers will begin. We have already heard Sale’s name, but so far, Quintana’s name hasn’t been mentioned.

It’s very possible teams are first trying to see what happens with Sale. After all, any team in need of pitching would rather have him then Quintana. However, Quintana could be a nice consolation prize for a team that doesn’t get Sale. The Sox are in a peculiar position. For once, they have a ton of nice assets and the top two available pitchers. Sure, Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays has come up in talks, but both Sox south paws would be better options.

My best guess is the front office won’t want to part ways with their top two pitchers. But nothing is guaranteed. This team has so many holes, trading away both Sale and Quintana could set this team up for long-term success. The 27 year old is under contract through 2020, as part of a five year $26.5 million contract. He will make a modest $7 million next season and $8.85 million in 2018. That’s a very team friendly deal any trading partner would love to have.

Quintana’s single season win total hasn’t been great, as 2016 was his first winning season. However, he has pitched over 200 innings four years in a row and has a 3.41 career ERA. His 3.20 ERA this season was the best of his career. Run support has always plagued him, as he’s pitched much better than his record would indicate. He could definitely help any team looking to add another top-end start to their rotation.

The trade market for Quintana probably won’t show itself until we figure out what the Sox are doing with Sale. So far we know teams have inquired about him, but those talks have gone nowhere. To this point, it seems like teams are just doing their homework. It’s clear in order to pry either guy from the Sox, it would take a huge return. There are very few teams who have the ability to make such an offer, so that might limit the market for both guys.

My feeling is we won’t see the Sox move Quintana. I could see them trading Sale, but I think they’ll hold onto Quintana. If they were to have another bad season, I could see them finding a trade partner at the deadline or next offseason. There has been so much talk about rebuilding, but right now, we’re really not seeing them rebuild. All their moves have been minor moves and there’s no solid evidence they’re serious about moving their key guys.

I don’t see Jerry Reinsdorf signing off on a rebuild. Because he’s still the owner, we’ll probably see the same old song and dance. They will talk with teams but no make any moves. And when Ken Williams or Rick Hahn is asked why they don’t make moves, they’ll most likely say the market wasn’t good or they didn’t feel like they were getting good value.

Next: Should White Sox Trade Chris Sale?

The truth is the pairing of Hahn and Williams, along with Reinsdorf probably don’t have the patience or knowledge to pull off a rebuild. It would require the  Sox to hit rock bottom for a few years and I don’t see that happening. This organization would rather play for a Wild Card spot than compete for a World Series year after year. And that’s just the sad state of  Sox baseball.